Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Madness- Complete with the Weather

Good Morning from The Lou, Home of the St. Louis Cardinals, The Arch and The Meteorologist Hypists!

I got up this morning for my workout. I've been doing the treadmill and watching the news in the morning. For an ENTIRE hour, the only thing they could talk about was the impending Snowpocalypse.

Got your milk? Bread? Bananas?

Never mind that Egypt is in nearly full revolt.

Or that Congress is pushing through new legislation that will affect us all for the next 20+ years.

Who cares about the news stories concerning green energy, Nelson Mandela, or my weekend favorite from Friday, the Cash and Carry Designer Sale?!?!?!

Because Ladies and Gentlemen, we are getting snow. It may be as bad as 2006, or heaven help us, the Great Blizzard of 1982. (That one, actually, I remember, because we lived in a rural spot in the woods and we were snowed in for 10 days. It was a long 10 days).

Yet as I look out the window, it is beginning to rain and I wonder how I will be getting back home today. Oy. Does this mean I've bought in? Do I need to pick up a generator on my way home?

Yours, hoping the rain does not wash away all the freshly laid salt and iodine,


Friday, January 28, 2011


Hi! Karen here! Melissa’s sister is very ill, so I thought I’dcamping surprise my favorite business partner and blog for her today. As some of you know, I am my sons’ Cub Scout Den Leader. But when I took on this role, I made sure my husband knew that I would do it all EXCEPT CAMP OUT. I plan all the activities, I show up at all the meetings, heck, I’m even the pack Treasurer. But I DON”T CAMP!!!

Don’t get me wrong, when I was younger I loved camping. I was a girl scout and I went camping with friends. But now that I’m an adult, my idea of roughing it is staying in a Motel 6 instead of a five star resort.

After years of wondering why I had changed (is it the bugs? the temperature? am I just too spoiled?), my sister sent me a video which explains it all. Here it is for everyone to enjoy:

Get it now???


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Sometimes I sit here, in front of my computer, and wonder what to blog about. Granted, I only blog once a week (Melissa does the other 2 days that we publish our blog), but that kind-of puts the pressure on. I want to be witty and interesting. I want readers to come back and read some more. Gosh darn it, I want to be liked!bored

But the whole thing about blogging is to write about either my business (which I do quite often) or about my life. And I gotta admit, my life has been pretty boring lately. Not that I’m complaining really. Boring isn’t necessarily bad, but it doesn’t make for a great blog post. Or conversation.

I was at lunch the other day with a couple of friends. One was talking about her husband’s new job and how it’s causing a rift with his siblings. The other friend was lamenting about the school district and how they have failed her and her daughter in a HUGE way. Then they look at me… and I got NOTHIN’. Um, our cub scout pack had to postpone our Pinewood Derby because of snow. Really, Karen? That’s the best you got?

Then I was on the phone with an old friend of mine who is having trouble with her 16 year old daughter. When she finishes talking about the situation, she asks what’s going on with me. Again, nothin’!

So, here it is, Wednesday, my blogging day, and I’ve got NOTHIN’!!! But that’s okay, folks! My day is coming, and I’ve certainly had many, many days that were far from boring. So a few uneventful times in my life are just fine with me!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Breathing and Believing

If you've read Karen's post from Wednesday, you'll know that she posted about fellow blogger Dawn Meehan. Dawn is a funny, funny writer. She brings a bit of sunshine to sometimes dreary or frustrating days. Dawn has had a rough couple of years. (You can read her story here). Dawn is pretty much doing it on her own, so her friends started a Meehan Hope Fund.

People have been contributing to the fund to help Dawn get through this time. She has mounting medical bills and some home repairs that desperately needed to be done (truly health hazards). Now Dawn, being a SINGLE MOTHER OF SIX KIDS, is extremely grateful for all monies contributed toward keeping her afloat. She is a hard worker. I think that even in the best, most idyllic circumstances, having 6 children would be a lot more than I could handle, let alone keep my sense of humor and be nice to other people.

All of this to say, the other day, she took her daughters to a very inexpensive salon and got them pedicures. She used a small amount of the donations to do this with. And a few of the people who had donated decided to get sassy with her and tell her how horrible it was that she used someone else's money for this time alone with her girls.

Let's be clear... It's called a mental health break. It's called girl time and bonding with your daughters. It's called building relationships with your daughters so that they know it's not all about the other kids.

She didn't go on a shopping spree. She did not put down money on a Cadillac Escalade. She did not take a vacation in the Caribbean.

She got her daughters' toes painted.

Give the woman a break. Sometimes we all need a little something to brighten our spirits. Maybe yours is chocolate. Maybe it's a massage. Maybe it's catching a matinee or a white chocolate carmel mochalatte. Just a little something to ease your mind and take a break- rejuvinate.

And if she used my donation to do it, I really don't care. I'm happy that she did it. She's not the kind of woman who is going to spend all of the money all willy nilly. So let's all take a breather and when we are looking at a situation that maybe we don't understand or don't agree with, take a breath, believe the best and then try not to judge.

After all, wouldn't you want someone to do the same for you?

Yours, breathing and believing,


Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Funny- Retrain!

He came up the stairs yelling,"Really, Z2, you need to be a little more mature about these things!"

He walked into my room, rolled his eyes and said,"Mom, she's being SO dramatic. This has been going on for days!"

Really? Just days? As I suppress my giggles, I hear Z2 stomping up the stairs. "But Mom! I go around picking up his stuff all the time (Really?! First I knew of that...) and I don't even get ONE thank you! Not one!"

"Z2," I said, "Welcome to being a mom."

She looked at me, rolled HER eyes and went into her bedroom.

Fifteen minutes later, she comes out and in an exasperated tone, state,"Mom, I don't get it. Girls go around picking things up after boys all the time. We pick up their stuff, we make meals and they don't do anything!"

"I know," I replied. But not wanting to get into further discussion at the moment, I said," Sometimes, honey, boys are boys and girls are girls."

She looked at me in all her 7 year-old wisdom and said,"Yeah, well, I think there needs to be some retraining going on."

Yours, hoping to get on the retraining train,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I’ve never used our blog to ask for help for somebody before, or even for a greater cause. Yes, I’ve used it to sell our own book (well, duh, as my kids would say!) but this is a first for me.PregnancySM

Dawn Meehan is the genius behind the blog Because I Said So and the author of two books, the latest being You’ll Lose The Baby Weight (And Other Lies About Pregnancy And Childbirth). She is also one of the first bloggers to promote our first book. Dawn is one of the funniest people I have ever read!

So now she is in trouble. About a year ago, her husband left her (which wasn’t a bad thing actually), but in leaving her, he left her 6 kids also. Really. He cut off all contact with them. She did the best she could, and kept her sense of humor throughout it all. But when her 2 oldest boys had to be hospitalized with depression, she started to break down. And now, her husband has lost his job, which means no more health insurance, and she’s at the end of her rope.

Dawn’s good friend and web designer “hijacked” her website and set up a place to make donations through paypal for her. I’ve put the widget on the right side of our blog. See it over there? Click HERE to get to her blog. Take a look and see if you remember her as the mom who got her start when she took her kids grocery shopping and found some baseball cards in her bags when she got home. She put them on eBay with a hilarious story about what it’s like to go shopping with 6 kids and the story went viral. The rest was history for Dawn. (But blogs make ZERO money and books make surprisingly little!) You could help her out by giving via Paypal or by buying her book. And by passing the word!

Thanks, everyone! No, this isn’t going to save the world. But by helping one person who helps so many, it’s a good start!


Monday, January 17, 2011

A Different Dream For My Child

I've always said it's hard enough to raise a child in this world when everything is right with them. Add any kind of complication and it can be overwhelming. I have the deepest respect for parents of children with special needs. It's a completely different level of parenting. I have several friends with special needs children and it has been no picnic for them.

One day I summoned the courage to ask a girlfriend what it was like. She said," To summarize something I read once, it's like getting on a plane and going to Italy. You've planned the trip. You've read about Italy. You know all the sights you are going to see and the things you want to experience. And you're so excited. You can hardly wait! But when the plane lands, the steward announces,'Welcome to Holland!' (She was paraphrasing the linked essay- TOTALLY worth the read!) And while Holland is not Italy, there are beautiful things in Holland that you will never experience in Italy."

This week I've been looking through a book called A Different Dream For My Child. Written by Jolene Philo, it's a collection of meditations for parents of critically or chronically ill children. It's words of encouragement, her personal stories, Bible scripture and some very honest and candid experiences. Sometimes, a parent needs to know they're not alone. That they're not the only one in Holland. And this collection does just that. Thoughtful, inspiring, comforting, this book is like rain in the desert for parents of special needs children.

We have one copy to give away. Simply leave a comment on our site and you qualify. We'll choose a winner by January 25th. Like our facebook page and let us know in another comment, and that enters you twice!

Yours, contemplating Holland,


Jolene Philo is the parent of a son with special needs, taught kids with learning disabilities for 25 years, and served as director of assimilation and discipleship at her church for 4 years. Her book, A Different Dream for My Child: Meditations for Parents of Critically and Chronically Ill Children was released by Discovery House Publishers in 2009. She is currently working on a new book, Different Dream Parenting: Raising a Child with Special Needs. She blogs about special needs at and about daily life at

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Funny~ Out of the mouths of kids...

A few nights ago, we were all downstairs watching The Tooth Fairy. A pretty amusing movie, it casts The Rock as the Tooth Fairy. Over breakfast, my son expounded upon the lessons he learned while watching the movie.

" You shouldn't complain all the time when you have to do things. He needed to stop being so negative!" said my son. "And his girlfriend did the right thing.."

"What was that, son?" I asked.

"Well, when he screwed up and treated her wrong she did the best thing she could have done..." he paused, looking at his dad,"She DUMPED him!"

Coulda heard a pin drop!

The look on my husband's face was priceless.

Yours, still giggling, as I tend to do,


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


A snow day yesterday? Really? We had what, MAYBE 3 inches? And I’m being generous here! It’s not that I don’t enjoy snow days, because on some level I do. The kids have a great time and we all relax and have fun. I just don’t understand the logic behind calling off school for 2-3 inches of snow. Which was cleared off the streets by the time the busses needed to take off and start picking up the kids. On paved roads. In suburban neighborhoods.

Here are some pictures I got off of one of the local news station’s website:snow day2

snow day3

snow day1

See, it wasn’t a huge storm with tons of accumulation. I could see some grass sticking up through the snow! Even my little street was clear! So Mr. Superintendent of my school district, what were you thinking when you were driving around at 5:00 yesterday morning wondering if you should close school or not? If we were in Minnesota, you would have been laughing at this winter weather! Maybe your car slipped once or twice, I don’t know. But next time, please don’t be such a weenie!


Monday, January 10, 2011

You HAVE To Ask

Good Mooorning! Yes, that's my happy voice. It's the first day of a new semester. I'm teaching my favorite class, seeing some of my favorite people (some of whom I have not seen in TOO long), we have the promise of snow and so far today, I'm getting things done AND I'm on time. HA! It's a good day, right?

So Friday I was saying that my father had shoulder replacement surgery. He did very, very well. They let him come home late Friday day. By Sunday morning, all was not well. His arm, chest and belly were swollen to 3 times its normal size and he was bruised all over his chest.

Long story short, Mom took him to the ER. A small blood vessel had broken loose and caused the swelling and bruising. The docs were nonchalant. "Very normal. Happens all the time."

Yeah- all the time in YOUR world.

We would have been much more prepared had someone TOLD us this might happen!

So once again, I reminded that when you or someone you love is going through medical stuff, or anything "heavy" for that matter, you HAVE TO ASK every question. Even if it seems silly. Or trivial. Or absurd. Just ask. Who cares what anyone else thinks?

Yours, checking on my Daddy every few hours,


Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Fun- Properly Looped

My father is a man of few words. So when he talks, I listen. But yesterday he was an absolute comic. But being properly looped, he tends to be. Not that I've ever seen him in an altered state, mind you. Come to think of it, although he does have beer or two now and then, I don't think I've ever seen him like I saw him yesterday.

Yesterday, my father went in for surgery. I thought he was having rotator cuff surgery, but apparently, there was no more cuff to be worked on so he had a shoulder replacement instead. It's about a 3 hour surgery, and there will be quite a bit of recovery time. I went to see him yesterday. I was waiting by the elevators with my mom and sister and lo and behold, two orderlies are wheeling him by on a gurney, taking him to his room. My father was instructing THEM which way to go.

"Yeah! Yeah! Just wheel me right down this hall!"

We knew it was him immediately and my sister and I called out,"Hi Dad!" He waved to us like he was the Grand Marshall of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

We took the elevator up to his room and waited for them to bring him in. As they're wheeling him into his room, he looks at us, points at me and say,"Hey! I've seen you before!"

Really? Yep, Dad. Yes you have. I couldn't help but laugh.

Nothing like seeing your father under the effects of anesthesia.

Happy Friday, dear readers!

Yours, still giggling,


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What I’ve Learned This Holiday Season…

This holiday season, I have learned three things.  First of all, I learned that as much as I like it when my husband shares things, I DO NOT like it when he shares his nasty ol’ cold with me.  Being sick over the holidays is NO FUN.  And he actually had the nerve to say, “How do you know you got it from me?”  Um, hello?  Really?  I got it three days after you, I have exactly the same symptoms as you, and oh yeah, I SLEEP IN THE SAME BED AS YOU.  Enough said.

santa clausThe second thing I realized is that I am SOOOOO going to miss it when my kids stop believing in Santa Clause.  Having grown up Jewish and not having participated in the whole Santa experience (we were just told that of course there’s no such thing, but don’t spoil it for all those silly little friends of ours who believe or we’d be in BIG trouble), this has been such a magical experience, watching it through their eyes.  But they are 9 now, and I fear that this will be our last year.  Of course, I thought this last year, so you never know!

Lastly, I learned that as a mother, I must have done something right over the past 9 years with my boys.  No, really!  When they were finally allowed to wake us up (strict orders not beforechristmas presents 7:00!), they ran down and opened Santa’s gifts, but before they would open any of the mounds (and I do mean mounds, thanks to Dad) of gifts from us under the tree, they insisted I open the gifts they made for me.  Even when I insisted they open theirs first, they refused until I opened mine.  I don’t think I was ever prouder of them than at that very moment.

I love my kids!

Happy New Year to you and your families!!!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! Made any resolutions? Broken any yet? It never takes me long. This year I decided to make resolutions that were a little more attainable. Here are the resolutions I will NOT be making, and the ones I am considering....

1. NOT: I will get supermodel skinny by swimsuit season in May.
BUT: Hmmmm.... maybe I'll work on ten pounds and sign up for another half marathon.

2. NOT: I will get comPLETEly organized to the enth degree, become a clone of the Clean Sweep organizer, Peter.
BUT: It's time, Melissa, to tackle that closet again. We made progress last year (yes, I can still walk in it relatively well!) and we will make even more progress this year.
3. NOT: I will speak fluent French by December.
BUT: I will actually look into buying Rosetta Stone instead of translating everything on Google Translator.

4.NOT: I will not be sarcastic, ever.
BUT: Hey! Why try to fix what's not broken?!?!?!

What I love about this time of year is that we all get a do over. And sometimes, we really do succeed. I actually am trying to make more attainable goals for myself. I find whenever I give myself a mandate, I simply rebel. That's quite the war within. (The voices inside my head get really, really loud. Not. Pretty.) My number one goal this year: to live my life a little more prepared.

Yes, this does require thinking ahead. It will require actually CHECKING my childrens' backpacks on Friday instead of Monday morning when they are supposed to be getting in the car. It will require actually looking at and acting upon those lists I chronically make for myself. But I'm truly tired of rushing, living life to the absolute, last minute deadline and finding it hard to enjoy myself because I'm thinking of all the things I have to get done before I can go to bed that I've been putting off because I always think I have so much more time than I do.

It's time, dear readers, it's time.

BTW- don't forget to update those organizer books. Now's the best time to do it!

Here's to 2011. May we live each moment enjoying as much of life as we can. May we all experience health, happiness, peace and contentment. And may we all reach at least ONE of our New Year's resolutions!

Yours, getting to work on taking down my decorations now,