Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend Review

  • My almost-13 yr. old daughter went to her first "boy-girl party" last night *SIGH*
  • Friday and Saturday we had 3 Baseball games + 1 softball game which = 8 hours at the ballpark and waaayy too much money spent on concession stand snacks.
  • Saturday was our annual neighborhood yard sale. I was a little bummed that I couldn't participate because we had ballgames and would be tied up at the ballpark all day. My 8-yr. old son told his baseball coach he wished he "didn't have a game today, I'd rather be selling stuff at my neighborhood yard sale". Such a little entrepreneur!
  • How is it that if I miss one day of laundry, I have a gazillion loads piled up in my laundry room?
  • I think I'm going to be taking a little trip to Chicago later this summer with one of my girlfriends. I need to take an RN Refresher class and Chicago is one of the cities where it's being offered. My friend offered to go along with me for company. FUN!
  • I really need to go to the grocery but cannot bear the thought of going to WalMart on a Saturday evening with three of my children in tow.
  • I'm such a procrastinator!
  • I'm holding out hope that when I wake up tomorrow, a magic house-cleaning fairy will have visited my house and tidied up for us.

What about you? What have you been up to this weekend?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bet This Will Make You Smile

I came across this video on and had to share it with you. It will surely make you smile! Watch as this husband and wife play the piano together in the atrium of the Mayo Clinic. By the way, they are both 90 years old and have been married for 62 years. Great!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Take A Chance Challenge

Do you like to read? Want to play along in a fun and creative reading challenge? Would you like a chance to win some books from Amazon? If you answered yes, then Click here to get all the details for the Take A Chance Challenge. It is being hosted by the clever and oh-so-hilarious Jenners, over at Find Your Next Book Here. Seriously, you will love her and her blog. I can't wait to get started on the reading challenge. The great thing is there's no pressure - you choose how many tasks you want to attempt. And, you have lots of time to complete the challenge - It runs from June 1 - Nov.30. So, go check it out and tell her I sent ya!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Been There Done That

Five days of school left for our kiddos. My third child is currently in 5th grade. Next year, he will be moving up to middle school. It will be a big change for him, probably a little scary for him. Last night was his 6th grade orientation at the middle school. He forgot to tell me about it until three hours before it started. My oldest son went to the same middle school, and my daughter is currently a 7th grade student there. So, the middle school orientation?....been there done that. Twice. I found myself not really wanting to even go to the orientation last night. Did I really need to sit through the same speeches I've heard in years past? Uniform policy, disciplinary rules, daily schedules...etc. I already know all this stuff. Surely, my older kids could fill him in on anything he would need to know about middle school. But, then I realized, just because I've "been there and done that", he hasn't. This is all new for him. I felt bad for not being as eager and excited about this new time in his life as I probably was with his older brother and sister. That's the way a lot of things seem to go when you have several kids, I guess. With pictures, for example. With my first child, we were at the photography studio every three months on the nose, having new photos made. By the time my fourth child came along, we barely made it into the photography studio once or twice during his first three years of life. Of course, I did take a lot of my own candid pictures, but, still, nothing like we did with the oldest. And, the "baby books" daughter's is lovingly filled out page by page and full of pictures. With my youngest, I never even opened a page.

It makes me sad to think about it. I don't want my younger two boys to feel left out or neglected when it comes to things like that. (Don't get me wrong, they are nowhere close to "really" being neglected, but, you know what I mean). What about those of you who have several children? Do you find yourself "slacking" with your younger ones?

I'm happy to say, we made it to the orientation and I think he had a lot of fun. They went on a scavenger hunt and practiced opening the combination locks for their lockers. The parents went to the cafeteria and watched a slide show about the school; that's when it really hit me that he is growing up. Then, I was happy, scared, and excited for him, all at the same time. I even had to hold back a few tears during that slide show.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Julie and Julia

I can't wait to see this one! It's supposed to be out in August. Starring two of my favorite actors, Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Aloha Friday - Teens

Today, our oldest son (he's the one who recently had the major eye surgery - he is doing very well now) is celebrating his 16th birthday. He is smart, extremely funny, and for the most part, very responsible. He's excited about getting his driver's permit and looking for his first job this summer. It's all pretty scary for me. I'm what you might call a worry-wart or nervous-nellie. All this business about him growing up and wanting some new freedoms is hard for me. Some of his friends are starting to drive and he is wanting to go places with them. It's all I can do to let him get in a car with another teenager and take off down the street. ACK! I just worry so much. But, I know I have to gradually let him have these freedoms, and trust that he will make good decisions and do the right things.

So, my Aloha Friday question(s) for you this week are:

1. If you have teenagers or grown children, how did you handle things as they started spreading their wings and wanting more freedom? Any words of wisdom?

2. What about you? Do you remember what you were doing around your 16th birthday?

For more Aloha Friday, visit Kailani over at An Island Life.

Product Review - Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash

I received a free sample of Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash the other day and wanted to tell you about it. It's burnt brown sugar and karite butter formula make this stuff smell incredible. I'm very particular about the scents of body soaps and washes that I use. I don't like anything too perfumey or strong. This is just the right combination of yummy-sweet and refreshingly clean. There's also tiny exfoliating beads which leave your skin feeling so soft and smooth. Even the color of the body wash is unique. It's a pearly-copper color that looks pretty and rich. I used it in the shower and loved it so much that I then kept it by the sink to use when I washed my hands. And, after reading this brilliant tip posted by Sarah, over at Chic Critique (a great review site that I highly recommend), I decided to try it out with the Caress Evenly Gorgeous body wash -- I filled my bathroom sink with extra-hot water, dropped the bottle of body wash in for several minutes, then proceeded to use it in the shower. Presto! A warm exfoliating body scrub, my own little spa treatment!

Click here for a $1.00 Caress coupon

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What was this guy thinking?

This fellow was caught trying to smuggle exotic birds from Vietnam into the United States. Using elaborate leggings and cloth wrappings, he had more than a dozen birds hidden beneath his pants legs. The man was arrested when an airport inspector noticed the bird droppings on his socks and feathers peeking out of his pants. The birds were placed in quarantine and may be donated to a zoo. These Asian songbirds can apparently sell for up to $400 in the US. Yep....bird poop on the socks, it will give you away every time!

~photo and news story from

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Diane Birch - iTunes Single of the Week

Check out the Free Single of the Week, "Rise Up" - available for download on iTunes.

I'm a new fan of Diane Birch. Her soulful, bluesy voice is beautiful! Just look at the praise she's receiving....

from Rolling Stone:
“Amy Winehouse-style retro pop, minus dysfunction… Her welterweight voice is strong and fetching… “Fools” conjures Carole King, “Nothing But A Miracle” echoes Aretha…the melodies stick, and girl’s got taste.”

from Vanity Fair:
“…she pays tribute to the classics too—Motown, Delta Blues, old-fashioned pop—without sounding musty, combining the emotional sensibility of Diana Krall with the soulful backbone of Lucinda Williams.”

Her debut album, Bible Belt, will be available June 2. Check out her free iTunes download and let me know what you think. I think you'll become a fan, too!

Movie Trailer Tuesday - The Jane Austen Book Club

If chick flicks and/or Jane Austen are your thing, then this is a must-see. It's one of those movies that I've watched over and over.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I think the Evil-Appliance-Gremlin has taken up residence at our home. First, our washing machine went out (my wonderful parents bought me a new one last week). Then, the dryer went out (luckily my husband was able to fix that). Now, my vacuum cleaner just bit the dust. I was in the middle of cleaning the carpet when it started to make a loud noise, smell like something was burning, and then it died. Hmmph! We really do have bad luck with vacuum cleaners. Anybody have recommendations for a good one? I can't afford much right now - so, I'm looking for something around $200 max, and one that uses bags (my last two have been bagless and I haven't liked them at all, they seem to make a big mess).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Facebook Humor

This is my kind of "facebooking" - I'm sorry, but, I just can't get into the whole Facebook thing. There's too many different sections to keep up with and messages to read and things being sent back and forth that make no sense to me. I guess I'm an old fogey, LOL!

~cartoon from The New Yorker

Friday, May 15, 2009

Aloha Friday - Early Bird or Night Owl

Yesterday, my husband and I did something that we rarely do together....after getting the kids off to school, we went back to bed and slept in until 10:45. Now, I'm all about sleeping in (although I never seem to get much opportunity to do it). I am, and always have been, a big night-owl. I detest the moment every morning when I hear the alarm clock go off. But, my husband is a morning person through and through. So, my Aloha Friday question is:

Are you a morning person? (like to get up with the sun and roosters and generally wake up happy and chipper) or

Are you a night owl? (much happier to stay up till the wee hours of the night, then sleep in)

For more Aloha Friday, visit Kailani at An Island Life.

Guest Post - Brushing and Flossing With Braces

Brushing & Flossing With Braces

Catherine Manabat is a guest blogger, writing on behalf of the American Association of Orthodontists.

The American Association of Orthodontists is a resource for parents to learn more about orthodontic treatments and provides general tips on how to achieve healthy, beautiful smiles, get braces-friendly recipes, and find an orthodontist near you by using the Find an Orthodontist Locator service. Why should you choose an orthodontist? Orthodontists receive an additional two-to-three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.

Catherine is also a proud former “braceface” and smiles every day to prove it!

When I was a kid, I was not a fan of brushing my teeth. Even though the toothpaste was sparkly, and my Mom bought me the bright pink toothbrush I begged for at the grocery store, I considered plaque removal a painfully annoying waste of my morning. It wasn’t until I got braces when I was 12 that I truly appreciated the amazing cleansing abilities of my toothbrush.

Braces are an important step for many on the road to achieving a healthy, beautiful smile. But all the necessary wires, brackets, and appliances can turn your mouth into a trap for food particles left over from meals, as well as make regular brushing and flossing a little tricky! As with most new routines, learning to properly clean and care for braces takes a little practice. Thankfully, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) offers several tips to help new orthodontic patients get started.

Patients who wear braces need to brush after every meal. I used to carry a little travel toothbrush with me to school to clean my teeth after lunch, just to make sure nothing was stuck in my wires before heading back to class. The AAO suggests using fluoride toothpaste, along with a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush to best remove plaque. Replacing toothbrushes often is also important, since braces can wear them out quickly.

A good way to tell if the braces are being brushed correctly is if they look clean, shiny and you can see the edges of the brackets clearly. An Interproximal brush (a small, spiral brush that looks like a pipe-cleaner) can be very helpful to slip under the braces archwire (to reach the itty bitty places your regular toothbrush may miss) and remove plaque and food particles near the brackets.

Flossing with braces can be a little tricky, and it took me a while to get used to. Using a floss threader was very helpful because it allowed me easily get the dental floss underneath the archwire and other tight spaces between the teeth and appliances. Flossing with braces on may seem like a difficult process, but it’s very important. As with anything, a little practice will make it go a lot faster.

Staying away from hard, sticky, crunchy and chewy foods will not only help prevent damage to brackets and wires, but it will make cleaning your braces much easier as these types of foods can be very difficult to remove if they get stuck to your braces. It’s also important to consume sugary items, such as candy and soft drinks, in moderation to prevent cavities while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

If you notice loose or broken brackets after eating or brushing, you should contact the orthodontist’s office to see if your braces need to be checked out for potential repair.

After two years of diligently brushing, flossing, and caring for my braces, it taught me how important it was to really clean your teeth! Many years later, now braces-free, I still floss and brush twice daily with a (new) pink toothbrush… although the paste is not longer sparkly. Needless to say, I’m very grateful that caring for my braces helped me kick the bad brushing habits I developed as a kid (my dentist is happier too.) 

Join the American Association of Orthodontists on Twitter for more tips on braces, braces-friendly recipes, and orthodontists, and share this article with other parents!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Dear Frankie

This one is a real tear-jerker. Gerard Butler and Emily Mortimer are fantastic. Check it out....

Friday, May 8, 2009

Frigidaire New Appliance Collection - Spreading the word for a chance to win!

Frigidaire is unveiling 250 new appliances designed with specific time-saving features to help you make the most of YOUR time.

"With their new line of appliances, Frigidaire is aiming to free up some newfound "me time" for Moms and they want to know what you'll do with it! By visiting, you can share the five things that you would do with an extra hour in your day for a chance to win an entire suite of the new time-saving Frigidaire appliances."

"The NEW Frigidaire kitchen and laundry collections feature high-performing, easy-to-use appliances with style and design elements that don't just look great, but help the appliances perform better and give you better results. All products - with their functional design and uncomplicated technology - have been built to deliver one primary thing: more time for mom. To learn more, visit"

I don't know about you, but, I could sure use an extra hour each day. And, I could definitely use a brand new washer and dryer. Visit Frigidaire and share what you would do with your extra time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Movie Trailer Tuesday - Charlotte Gray

I love this movie. It's a heartbreaking story, starring one of my very favorite actresses, Cate Blanchett. Set during World War II, Charlotte Gray is a Scottish woman who goes undercover in a French town in order to search for her missing pilot boyfriend. She becomes involved with a local farmer and his son, who are harboring two Jewish children. Check it out.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Here's a cartoon that everyone can enjoy....

- cartoon found at site called Squiffy's House of Fun -

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Go Away Little Black Cloud!

I think there's been a little black cloud floating over us. If you've read my blog lately, you know that my oldest son had to have emergency surgery when an accident caused him to have a detached retina. For the recovery after his surgery, he had to spend 14 days face-down (yes, I mean literally he had to keep his head down all the time, except when we put in his eye drops). His medical bills are out the roof! I'm stressing out big time over that. Then, last weekend, my husband had a wreck on his dirtbike. He spent the night in the E.R. with a concussion and he is still having vision problems (no, he was not wearing a helmet, don't even get me started on that!) They think one of the nerves to his eye was traumatized and is not working like it should. His ability to focus is slightly delayed and he sees double when he looks down sometimes. The doctor thinks it will get better on its own in a month or two. I'm happy to say that said dirt bike is now up for sale!! Then (and this is really not anything serious, but, still, a huge pain in the rear for me) my washing machine started making a freakishly loud noise and leaking water. Two days later, a belt went out on my dryer and it stopped tumbling. UGH! We are a family of six - I do laundry every single day. I cannot be without a washer and dryer. Last night, my husband worked on the washer and thinks it is now fixed. Tomorrow, he will be getting a new belt for the dryer. Then, he is going out of town for the week, so, I really hope it's all taken care of before he leaves. My daughter, who has braces, found out last week that she will need to have two teeth removed in order to correct her overbite. I have a phobia about losing/removing teeth, it freaks me out! I've always had recurring dreams about me losing my teeth. UGH! More stress. More medical bills. For the past ten days or so, I have been battling a sinus and ear infection. My ears and head are so stopped up. I'm having trouble hearing and I feel like I'm in a tunnel.

On a more positive note, my oldest son is finally able to return to school tomorrow after all this business with his eye surgery. His vision in that eye has not returned to normal, and, his eye still looks a little out of whack. But, he is able to be up and around and is actually looking forward to going back to school (he had to miss two weeks).

Today, I decided to do something fun to help me de-stress. I took my two youngest sons to see the new X-Men Wolverine movie. Hello Hugh....nice muscles! Seriously though, it was a great movie, the boys loved it.

Okay, thanks for listening to me whine and complain and vent. I'm off now to get into my pj's, have a cup of hot tea, and get ready to watch The Tudors.