January 31, 2011

Video Taping Rewind.

I'm one of those mamas that says I wish I had video taped my kids more when they were tiny. I did have the camera, and I did catch most milestones on video. But after they grow, you wish you had more. Now with the camera taking the video instead, I find myself using it more, but then it just gets uploaded onto the computer and lost in the sea of documents.

Yesterday my boys wanted to see some videos of themselves during our lazy day. I plugged in the old school video camera and we sat and watched through both of them coming home from the hospital, crawling, walking, and laughing a ton. We had a great time, but not only did I get to reminisce with them over days past, I got to learn a few new things. I learned that even though I could hardly tell who was who at times on video because they look so much alike, they couldn't be more different. 

To see my older one at one year old was amazing. He was walking, talking, responding, questioning. At one. Yes, he's my brilliant boy, but to see how tiny he was, and already acting like a little old man, it's really neat.

To watch the progress(or lack of) of my younger one unfold on video was really an eye opener. Not knowing then what the word autism even meant, I unknowingly would narrate the video by saying things like 'he's two and a half and not talking yet' and 'he sits by himself..still not walking!', or watching as I continually called his name without getting a reaction from him. Huh. Who knew. 

The other thing I noticed was my relationship with the other parent who was taping at times. Knowing now what my relationship has become with him, and looking back at it then, there were underlying things between us even then that I could hear in my voice that got under my skin. Huh. Who knew.

Video footage and pictures can be a great way to look back and relive happy times with loved ones. But they can also be great predictions of what's to come in life. 

Now here's one of my favorite more recent videos...my boy that 'might not talk' is now singing the Star Spangled Banner.

Photo Challenge: Day Four

A picture of your night.

Well, as a mom of young boys, it's not wildy exciting! After they are asleep I usually hop in my super duper comfy bed, catch up on TiVo and my knitting. Yea, you know you're jealous :)

January 30, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day Three

A picture of the cast from your favorite show.

Ok...so far so good with this challenge, but I'm not looking ahead at the tasks, I think that would make me overthink it!

January 29, 2011

Did Someone Say Pie?

I've said it before, and I'll say again. I heart gum. My favorite flavor has been discontinued, and is becoming more and more difficult to find. And while I do enjoy trying new flavors just for the heck of it, what I'm really doing these days is trying sadly to find a replacement for my favoritest. And I am here today to tell you that I have found a front runner.

Extra gum has pleased me over the years. Their motto of lasting an extra, extra, extra long time does ring true....with some of their flavors. Up until now I've only enjoyed the original bubble gum flavor. The new Dessert Delights lineup has intrigued me. I tried a few, and wasn't impressed. But now....well....now I'm hooked.

Key Lime Pie flavor is like a scene straight out of Wonka with Violet trying the new gum. You can actually taste all the components of the pie. It starts with the smell when you unwrap the package, straight up lime. Then when you first start to chew it, you get a creamy lime taste, almost like a bite of pie with some of the cream topping. That stays with you for a bit, with a hint of what seems like vanilla, then suddenly, and strangely, you get a pang of pie crust. Wha? Did I seriously just taste pie crust? Yes, yes I did. It's not something you can fully understand until you try it. The taste cycle goes on for quite a while, then the gum just smooths out to a nice, even, delicious flavor.

So as a true gum addict, this one gets my chew of approval!

Photo Challenge: Day 2

A picture of you and the person you have been close with for the longest.

January 28, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day One

30 Day Photo Challenge, Day One: A Picture of Yourself with 15 Facts (easy peasy!)

1. I like to wear flip flops all year long.
2. My favorite ice cream is Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey.
3. Been in PA for 10 years but would move back to NY in a heartbeat.
4. My favorite color is turquoise.
5. 2010 was the toughest year of my life....so far....
6. I think math is cool.
7. Right now I can't stop watching My Redneck Wedding. YeeeHaw!
8. I love my sisters lots and lots and lots.
9. My kids are damn funny.
10. I would paint every room in my house on an annual basis if I had the time. 
11. I dislike gardening, can't even keep a cactus alive.
12. My hair is fantastic.
13. Mexican food is the bomb-diggity.
14. After many years of not wearing my glasses I finally have started and it's amazing what there is to see!
15. I'm not confident in my ability to finish this challenge!

Can she stick with it folks?

Found this on a new blog I'm reading, and it caught my attention. A 30 day photo challenge. I don't tend to stick with any one thing too long, so I'm going to try this one out! I'll give the run down and try out Day 1....Here are the challenges..

Day 1: A picture of yourself with fifteen facts.
Day 2: A picture of you and the person you have been close with for the longest.
Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favourite show.
Day 4: A picture of your night.
Day 5: A picture of your favourite memory.
Day 6: A picture of someone you miss.
Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item.
Day 8: A picture that makes you laugh.
Day 9: A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.
Day 10: A picture of the person you do the most messed up things with.
Day 11: A picture of something you hate.
Day 12: A picture of something you love.
Day 13: A picture of your favourite band or artist.
Day 14: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.
Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die.
Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you.
Day 17: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.
Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity.
Day 19: A picture of you when you were little.
Day 20: A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel.
Day 21: A picture of something you wish you could forget.
Day 22: A picture of something you wish you were better at.
Day 23: A picture of your favourite book.
Day 24: A picture of something you wish you could change.
Day 25: A picture of your day.
Day 26: A picture of something that means a lot to you.
Day 27: A picture of yourself and a family member.
Day 28: A picture of something you're afraid of.
Day 29: A picture that always makes you smile.
Day 30: A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.
 Bring it On!!

Once Upon a Time....

....there was a grape.

Yup, totally bizarre. But that's how my mind works. This is what I was dreaming about last night.  I was writing a kiddie book in this dream, and that was my start. I was able to see the cute little green grape in my dream, and most of the adventure he was about to have. A funky dreamer I am!

After most of my dreams I'm able to jump up and analyze them with my handy dandy dream dictionary. But oddly enough, the keyword 'grape' doesn't show up and give any great insight as to what my dream might mean.

Maybe my dream is a thought of writing. I have always wanted to write a children's book. My biggest problem with doing so is the next step....what to do with the book. How do you get someone to publish it? Or better ye,t buy it? Just thinking about all of those post-writing steps has my mind spinning.

Or...maybe my dream was a thought of just eating some grapes, as Mama likes to do. But if I saw a cute grape with a face skipping through the park in my dream, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be too eager to bite into him.

If anyone has some inside info on the world of children's books I'd love to hear about it. No, I wouldn't be writing about that little grape, but I do have a concept for a series of little books. Even when Mama falls asleep, her mind is always thinking of great little things....

January 26, 2011

Boys. Smell.

Yup....the truth hurts sometimes folks. But if you have any boys(or big guys!) in your home, you know the idea behind my title all too well. Whether they are playing rough, working hard, or just plain hanging around, boys smell. And not only do they smell, but they have the ability to smell up any area they have been in.

Living with no other girls, I've gotten used to the certain smells that come along with owning boys. But now that I'm a single lady homeowner, I've decided I'd like my home to be a bit more....girly. I want it to look a bit more girly, and more importantly, smell more girly. 

How you ask? I do love Yankee Candles, and they are great for a background smell. You know the kind, the get a whiff every once in a while kind. Nope, not good enough. I've purchased other candles, cleaners, sprays, only to find they last a short, short time. Until now...Febreze, I've never been a huge fan of yours until now!

I remember buying some Febreze when it first came out, and it just had that certain smell, and it was more of a cover-up than a pleasant aftermath. But now they've come out with Air Effects. The label says it gets rid of odor rather than cover it, and I'm here to say it does!! Sometimes when you use a spray, you smell the spray and the underlying smell right? Well no more with Air Effects. The smell is gone, and the Febreze flavors are fantastic! I just bought Limited Edition Cranberries & Frost scent. Yum, yum, yum. When choosing it and spritzing in the aisle of Walmart there were some great ones to choose from, but this was just the winter freshness my home needed.  I can't wait to try some other scents come spring!

So if you have boys, pets, or any other funkiness that you just can't part with in your home, please try this spray. Mama tested and approved! :)

January 21, 2011

I'd Like to Solve Please!

I'm just going to say it. My mom has a real problem. She's a game show junkie. Ever since I was little and stayed at home with her, she'd be flipping through channels to get to her favorites. Even now, with the help of the Game Show Network, she will watch and rewatch some oldies but goodies.

Sadly, I have inherited this gene. Being on a game show is a must at some point in my life. Now that I'm working from home, I find myself flipping through to be sure and have Price is Right and Let's Make a Deal on in the other room, so I can at least hear what great deals people are making!! Game shows aren't what they used to be though, so I thought I'd reminisce about some of my all time favorites.

1. Match Game: yes, I'm guilty of still watching this one on GSN. Folks like Richard Dawson, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Brett Somers made it a great show. I still get a kick out of many of their questions, and even more so now that I'm older and have more of a wandering mind.....'Susie loves to put BLANK on her BLANK' Ha.

2. Wheel of Fortune: not now, then when I was home with my mom. How many of you remember the original, when you'd win money then they would spin around this big lazy susan type set where you'd choose what you wanted to spend your winnings on? "I'll take the porcelain dalmation for a thousand, and the pink gravy boat for two hundred." 

3. Win, Lose, or Draw: of course the celebrity panel made this show great. I love so many of the people that were on it, but mostly Richard Simmons made it fun. Burt Reynolds didn't hurt either. I can't picture today's celebrities being that fun and close to average joes to draw some silly pictures and help them win money.

4. Scrabble: while I do not enjoy playing the game of Scrabble, I did enjoy the tv version. Chuck Woolery is a game show icon, and this was a goodie. I love the sound made when a tile was trying to fit into a word, I wish I could spell it like I hear it but just can't.

5. Remote Control: not a typical game show, but if you were part of our generation and watched MTV it sure was. The great Ken Ober made it fun, in his basement, having people answer questions about pop culture, and enjoy some great walk-ins by some now pretty famous people. I always loved the grand prize round when someone was strapped down and spun and had to guess what videos were being played. Good times.

6. Card Sharks:
absolutely on the top of my list. So mindless if you really think about it, just saying 'higher' and 'lower' for a card and getting lucky. But I still really loved this one.

Of course there were plenty more I loved, but those are my top contenders by far. The original Let's Make a Deal, Classic Concentration, Bumper Stumpers, Joker's Wild, Press Your Luck, and more made my days at home with mom more fun and challenging. Now my older son is enjoying some of the newer game shows, and I know someday he'll be reminiscing about his favorites too.

January 4, 2011

Cough, Hack, Wheeze, Repeat.

Disclaimer: Mama is not a hypochondriac. She has gone to the Dr for specific reasons too many times over the last few years, but does not run to their offices for the little things in life. No kiddie germs keep her down.

With that said, when you have two young children in two separate schools, chances are many different types of germs are brought home throughout a school year. For the most part my boys hardly get sick, but they do bring home enough to share with the grownups around them. Never have I felt it more than this year. I usually skim by with one cold in the winter and I'm good to go. But this year? Well it's oh so different. Want to know why? Simple. Mama has no f'n health insurance.

Health insurance is something I've never ever been without. I went from college straight to a full time job and always had it. But with life changes this year came a cancellation of my insurance. As soon as that happened it was all downhill. I'm pretty sure I've been sick ever since. Ear aches, migraines, no sleep, and I'm 99.9% sure I have walking pneumonia. Currently I have  the neatest wheezing cough and the worst sore throat I've had in years.

Sure most of these things are not even something a doctor can do much for, but it's just one of those things where you wish you could pop in and at least grab an antibiotic if nothing else. But for now I'm held hostage by Dayquil/Nyquil and cough drops. Awesome.

So next time you want to call and bitch to your healthcare company about a bill or lack of providers, instead take a moment to be grateful that you have insurance:)

January 3, 2011

It's a New Dawn, It's a New Day....

Hellooooo blog friends! I have been without internet at home for over two weeks. Two weeks! I have a ton to say and catch up on, but today something specific popped into my head. With the start of the new year, many emotions came over me. I've had one hell of a roller coaster ride of a year, and having it finally come to an end was emotionally draining.

Of course the biggest thing in life was becoming a single mama. That alone can make you doubt yourself, people in your life, your decision making abilities, your parenting abilities, pretty much everything. And it doesn't stop after papers are signed, or after x amount of days. There's no specific mourning period given. And I will be the first to admit, I'm still mourning. Not mourning over him, just the life I was in. There's a big difference.

But then about two weeks ago I thought of something I read in Eat, Pray, Love. And while it doesn't 'fix' thoughts and feelings, it makes perfect sense. Now I try to refer to it whenever it's one of those days. I know plenty of my single lady friends will nod their heads as they read this. The excerpt is about Liz and her newly lost love, but it wasn't her husband. Either way it still rings true. It gives me feelings of hope and empowerment...and the knowledge that this is going to be a much better year for me and my boys.

"Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing and you were in the best possible place in the world for it – in a beautiful place of worship, surrounded by grace. Take this time, every minute of it. Let things work themselves out here in India.”

“But I really loved him.”

“Big deal. So you fell in love with someone. Don’t you see what happened? This guy touched a place in your heart deeper than you thought you were capable of reaching. I mean you got zapped, kiddo. But that love you felt, that’s just the beginning. You just got a taste of love. That’s just limited little rinky-dink mortal love. Wait till you see how much more deeply you can love than that. Heck, Groceries – you have the capacity to someday love the whole world. It’s your destiny. Don’t laugh.”

“I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate.”

“He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of your marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.”

“But I love him.”

“So love him.”

“But I miss him.”

“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.”

“But I wish me and David could —“

He cuts me off. “See, now that’s your problem. You’re wishin’ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.”