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,


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


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…


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

Our friend, Candi Wingate of 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 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!


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
-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,


Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Funny!

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

'Cause he couldn't find a date!


Admit it- you laughed!

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


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


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!



Monday, October 18, 2010

Growing Up... When does That Happen?

Here at the B house, we are entering an interesting time period. I'm waiting for one of my kids to grow up a little bit. Child X is absolutely wonderful, but honestly, a little behind in the maturity department. Child X believes I exist only to punish and bully, taking all fun away and the only reason I want them around is to make them do things they would rather not do.

Is it possible that Child X is actually a teenager in diguise?

I've considered it. Truly.

The other thing that concerns me is Child X is immature socially. I've had to get brutally honest with Child X and say that people will not want to be around them and will tease them mercilessly if particular behaviors do not cease and desist immediately.

All the while I am saying to myself,"An olive branch takes 20 years to bear fruit. 20 years. Be patient, Melissa."

So what should I do? We've decided to raise the stakes some. Child X is not liking it. It's the first day, so of course there was resistance and grumbling. We've cut out some media that The Hub and I are thinking kind of dumbs Child X down and we're also requiring more in the way of follow through.

Anyone else ever have these issues? Are they age related? Gender related? I await your answers, because I would really like to find them out!

Yours, trying to help Child X any way I know how,


Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Funny... uhm, Def PG... or PG-13

I realize that I haven't been too funny lately. Sorry about that. I have to stick to my mantra: "If it's not fun, it doesn't get done!" Life's been a lot a lot a lot of work lately. I need to slip some more fun in there. Here's a few thing I've been giggling about this week, though:

1.) Okay, let me preface this with I absolutely KNOW it is COMPLETELY wrong to laugh about this.... but you have to admit, in the whole universal scheme of it all, it is pretty ironic.... But a few weeks ago, unfortunately, the owner of the Segway Company died. In a Segway accident. He drove the thing right off the cliff. Into a river. I'm not even kidding! I mean, you cannot make this stuff up. And you know what my thought was?

Hhmph. He's a shoe-in for The Darwin Awards this year!

2.) So it was early morning and the B family was all downstairs. I was in the kitchen with my Z1 (age 9) and Z2 (age 7). I ask them,"Where is your father?" to which they replied:

Z2: He's in the bathroom

and without missing a beat, Z1 adds:

Z1: Yeah, gettin' his load on.

BTW, Mom, what does "load" mean?

3.) And my favorite status update on fb this week, from an extremely talented musical student:

Nudist Cosmic Bowling- Balls everywhere!!! Bwahahahaha!!!

Yours, hoping you're still giggling,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have a friend whose father is in a slow and steady decline into the Alzheimer’s world.  Since he lives with her, sometimes it’s difficult for her to see how he has deteriorated, and while she doesn’t discuss him often, she’ll occasionally tell me stories.   More often than not, the stories aren’t good, but every now and then, she finds the humor in his disease.  This story that she told me yesterday, I just had to share.

My friend was actually out of town, so her sister took her fatherlaughing dog to a doctor’s appointment.  The doctor was giving him some simple tests, just to see how far the disease had progressed.  He held up a pen and asked him what he was holding up.  “A pen,” my friend’s father answered.  Next, the doctor pointed to my friend’s father’s watch and asked him what that was called.  “A watch,” he said.  Lastly, the doctor asked him what the time was that was on his watch.  He answered with the correct time, then turned to my friend’s sister in complete seriousness and said, “We need to get the hell out of here.  This guy’s my doctor and he doesn’t even know what a pen and a watch are!”

Here’s hoping you can find some humor in whatever difficulties you might be going through!


Monday, October 11, 2010

And Here We Have a Monday....

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to say that? As if we were walking up and down the sale aisle, being guided by a personal shopper... "And here we have a Monday. This particular day of the week is for those who are strong of heart, or have had quite a bit of rest over the weekend. Monday will take everything you have.... because you never know what you are going to get with Monday...Now over here, we have The Three Day Weekend Monday Package. It is quite lovely, will cause you to enjoy your Monday to the fullest extent, but will throw you off for the rest of the week..."

If only it were that easy, right? Oh, that we could pick and choose or weekdays! Would I ever pick a Monday? I don't know... sometimes I'm really ready for them. Other Sunday nights, not so much. :-) I think Karen and I are finding our way back to Mondays. We had a bit of time where we were pretty much just trying to hold it together, but she is raring to go, and let me tell you, when she is on a roll, just step aside. It's the only safe thing to do! We have finally finished The Caregiver Organizer for MY Aging Parent and are pretty close to finishing our Caregiver Organizer for MY Special Needs Child.

Being a parent can be hard work, but for those with children who have special or extra needs, keeping it all together is pretty challenging. That's why it only made sense to develop an organizer focused toward that need. I can barely keep my head on my shoulders, let alone keep my kids organized. We'll let you know as we get closer when our release date is.

And in other news, you may have noticed our blogging has shifted a little. We'll be blogging three days a week now. Look for us on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mondays, that is, when we decide to select Monday from the sale aisle....

Yours, living my Monday to the fullest,


Wednesday, October 6, 2010


When Melissa and I started writing books, I was told that thesale writing was only 10% of the work.  Selling the book was the other 90%.  I didn’t believe it at the time.  Guess what?  I believe it now!  Maybe not 90/10, but marketing a book is  REALLY. HARD. WORK!  Especially a book like ours, where you basically have to convince somebody that they need it, because they’ve never seen anything like it before.

So here we are, having just come out with our second eBook, The Caregiver Organizer For MY Aging Parent.  Soon, we’ll be announcing the roll-out of our third eBook, The Caregiver Organizer For MY Special Needs Child.  Cool, huh?  Yep!  And all we have to do is figure out how to sell them!

caregiver organizer cover parent Any ideas?  Ha ha, just kidding! (Not really, if you have any ideas, let me know!)  The name of the game is EXPOSURE!!!  So we’ll be on as many blogs and catalog websites as will take us.  If you write one of these blogs or own a website, contact us and we’ll talk.  We can offer a giveaway, a discount, whatever you want. 

If you think our eBooks are a great idea, but don’t have a need for one now, tell your friends and family.  Somebody you know is taking care of an aging parent or other loved one and could use a way to organize his or her information.  And don’t forget about our first eBook, For MY Child.  Have young children at home?  Organize their information for your sitters or nanny.caregiver organizer cover child

Think of our eBooks as eOrganizers.  We provide the template, and you fill in the information about your child, parent, or whomever.  That way, it’s all there, in a clear and concise format, for you, for your caregiver, for anyone who needs that information at a moment’s notice.

Okay, today you heard from Salesperson Karen!  (Can you tell that I’m the sales-y one of our partnership?)

Don’t forget, as part of our roll-out sale for our Parents eBook, use “Parent” at checkout for $3.00 off.

I’m off to sell some more!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Running, Life and Writing Books

I ran my first half marathon this Sunday. Not something I had ever wanted to do, but I got talked into it, and so, once I committed, i had to follow through. It took me about 2 hours, 45 minutes, so I had a lot of time to think. It occurred to me that running a race is a whole lot like pursuing any dream....

1.) It takes discipline- You've got to train. It's a lot easier if you do.
2.) You're bound to hurt some- Mile 10? Oh my word! I thought my bottom was literally going to fall off! And walking afterwards, I looked like a little, old lady. But it was still very much worth it.
3.) You'll pull strength from places you didn't know you had it- Even though I was dying, when I heard the DJ broadcasting about 1/4 mile from the finish, I broke into a dead sprint. Where the heck did THAT come from? Or the determination in mile 7 when it was all uphill. Didn't know I had it in me.
4.) There will be surprises- like when the scale says I GAINED 7 pounds instead of losing. (Personally, I think it's time to get a new scale).
5.) If there are people in wheelchairs competing, as well as blind people running with seeing partners, and I am whole and healthy, I need to shut my mouth and stop complaining. Seriously.
6.) Staying the course and crossing the finish is the best feeling EVER!- 'Nuf said.
7.) And finally, my most favorite-


So if you've got a dream, what are you waiting for????

Yours, thinking I actually might be hooked on this running gig,


Friday, October 1, 2010


fourth grade My boys are only in fourth grade and already I am pretending to go to the bathroom so I can look things up on the computer when helping them with their homework.  Really!  What would I do without Wikipedia?  And thank goodness I get the answer key for their math homework or I’d really look stupid!

I can’t be the only one having this problem, am I?  Let’s start with Math.  They are learning multiplication and division WAY differently than the way I learned it, so when I try to help them, they look at me like I’m an idiot.  My way makes sense to me, and it gets them the same answer, but they have no idea what I’m doing.  So now, at 40-something, I have to learn how to multiply and divide all over again, the “NEW” way.  Ugh!

Then I was helping them with Language Arts, another subject I THOUGHT I was good at.  They were supposed to pick out the subject, then the simple subject, the predicate, then the simple predicate.  Huh?  Run upstairs (be right back honey, I just have to go to the bathroom) and check the computer to see what thehelping with homework heck a predicate is.  Oooooh, okay.  Now, what’s the simple predicate?  Well, why didn’t you just say verb?  Now I get it.  Run back downstairs. (Okay sweetie, where were we?)

The best is when the teacher is giving me suggestions on how to help them, or what to look out for when they are doing homework, etc. and she is talking about things that are totally confusing me.  “Uh, now, refresh my memory, exactly what is that again?”  Yes, I feel like the biggest idiot in the world!  She’s teaching this stuff to my 9 year old and I have no idea what she’s talking about.  Don’t I feel like a LOSER!!!

answers So here’s an idea for teachers:  at the beginning of the year, write a little manual for the parents with ALL the answers for the entire year.  You don’t want our kids to think (know) that they are smarter than us, do you?