Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quote It Saturday

PhotobucketFreda's Voice hosts Quote It Saturday. You can post any quote, even lyrics to a song. Include who said, even if it's anonymous.
"It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain." ~Mark Twain


Call Me Cate at Show My Face hosts Six Word Saturday. Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words.
Going to see some horse racing.

Friday, July 29, 2011

No Filter Friday

Time to take off the tape and let loose with what's on my mind this week:
  1. Rumor has it there's going to be a Sex and the City prequel. No, no, and no. Prequel is a word that should never be used in the English language. And, please, don't ruin Sex and the City for me. It's one of the few things us 40-something women can actually relate to.
  2. Shame on the Norway police force for taking 90 minutes to get to the Island where that lunatic opened fire on a camp full of kids. I realize that country is unaccustomed to this sort of situation, but I'm sure the word "emergency" exists in their language. I hate to put the blame on any other person besides the shooter, but there is some wiggle room to point the finger as far as response time goes.
  3. The death of Amy Winehouse, though tragic, makes me angry. She was offered and received help many times. It did no good. She was, in all senses of the phrase, wasted talent. I believe she wanted to be part of this "27" club with Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison. My complaint is that the four previously mentioned artists were so much more accomplished than Winehouse. They had achieved much more by the time of their deaths. Now Winehouse will be made legendary for having one pretty good song and dying young. This, in my opinion, does not a legend make.
  4. The fact that 9/11 responders who developed cancer after the 2001 attacks are being denied coverage for their treatment by the federal government is sickening. Just to clarify, the responders who develop asthma, lung disease or mental conditions can receive assistance. But God forbid you develop cancer from inhaling all of those toxins, you don't qualify. I suppose it's just coincidence that all of these young people are developing these rare cancers at the same time. Give me a break! What else can government get wrong?

Aloha Friday

Kailani at An Island Life started Aloha Friday. Want to play along? I ask a question, you answer the question in the comments. You can also ask your own question on your blog and link up on Kailani's site. Here's my question:

Not including concerts, have you ever had a celebrity sighting?

My answer: I saw Geraldo Rivera leaving a local movie theater here in New Jersey.

Friday Finds

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Friday Finds. What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Always Something There to Remind Me by Beth Harbison
Commune of Women by Suzan Still
This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman
The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. This week's BTT asks . . . What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up reading a book? Is staying up late reading a usual thing for you?

I almost always fall asleep when I read a book in bed at night. It's a guaranteed sleeping pill for me. I think the latest I've ever stayed up reading is about midnight. I usually cannot keep my eyes open past 11:30pm. Sad, but true.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Are You Going for the Girl?

I hear this question over and over . . . and over again. I go places with my 2 little boys or I meet up with friends and wind up talking about our kids, but it never fails to lead to the same question - "Are you having another? Are you going to try for the girl?"

I admit I'm guilty of asking that same question to other moms. Especially ones in my situation - having all boys. I think my age (42) has determined for me that I'm just too old and tired to have another. But that doesn't stop me from asking other moms.

My typical response is, "No. I'm done. I have my hands full with these two." No sooner do the words pass my lips then the inner dialogue ensues. I really would love to have a little girl. Those baby dresses are just so adorable. My boys are bigger now. They really want to spend more time with hubs than with me. Maybe having a third wouldn't be so bad. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The responses I get from other moms vary. I have quite a few friends who have 2 boys and have called it a day there. I call them my soul sisters. They love their boys and say they're perfectly fine having just two, but deep down in their souls they want that girl.

I have other friends who go for the third, and sometimes fourth, and wind up with another boy (or two). Bless their hearts.

I'm not sure what it is about mothers and the child count. Do we ask to find validation in our own decisions about having another? Do we want to live vicariously through someone else since we've decided to not have any more? Are we envious? Or are we jealous?

Either way, we can't guarantee another child. Nor can we determine the sex of that child. All we can do is ask the question, "So, are you going to have another?"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ChildUp Early Learning Game Cards

I was given the opportunity to review ChildUp Early Learning Game Cards that would help my boys learn to count, add, subtract, sort, compare, categorize, and differentiate between odd and even numbers in a matter of months. My boys are ages 5 and 2. Counting is something they both pretty much have covered. But all of those other skills could be obtained from one pack of cards? How could I possibly say no to that?

The ChildUp game cards come with parent cards that teach you how to use these cards. There is so much information provided on the background of this system and benefits of using it, you'll feel like you took a class to learn how to teach using these tools. You're also provided with tips on how to teach counting in your everyday life - simple things like counting glasses on the table or apples in your shopping cart.

The cards themselves are colorful and have great pictures of animals on them. Each pack contains 4 color-specific series of 10 different animals, e.g. birds, African mammals, aquatic animals, and domestic animals. The children begin to identify a specific animal with the number on the reverse side of the card. This is a great tool for developing memory skills. They also become well-versed in animals, the sounds they make and where they live. Not only are they learning how to count, they're learning to distinguish between colors and developing their language and vocabulary as well.

If you're someone who wants to play with your children while getting them ready for school at the same time, I would recommend the ChildUp Early Learning Game Cards. They are great for children ages 1 to 5 and come in the Count to 10 or Count to 20 options. There's even an App available for those of you who want to take it with you on the go. There are so many benefits to be obtained, you really have nothing to lose.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Boys and the Toilet

Sounds like a great title for a children's book. Well, it's not a laughing matter, at least not in my house.

Seriously, what is the deal with boys and going to the bathroom? And I mean boys of all ages. Is it really that hard to keep "it" pointed in the right direction to make sure random spray and drips don't get everywhere? I do believe that the hole they're aiming for is rather large, no?

It's not just the spray and drips that bother me. It's the lack of flushing. I thought flushing the toilet was the fun part for kids. The noise, watching the water twirl down and then fill back up. It's a lever to push with not much effort. When did flushing the toilet become such a huge task to accomplish?

If there's one thing I can't stand, in addition to the random drips and spray all over the place and the lack of flushing, it's going to sit down to relieve myself only to find someone else's "relief" already there. It's just gross! I don't want their "stuff" splashing up and hitting me when I'm trying to go. Flush!

And then, if they do flush, they flush too soon. What is the deal with flushing before they're finished? If there's still more coming, wait. Otherwise your "stuff" is filling up the bowl with the clean water. It's kind of like not flushing at all!

Obviously, there are bathroom issues going on in my house. Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Monday Must Haves - Bookshelves

Welcome to Monday Must Haves, my place for cataloguing all those things I see in my day-to-day existence that I just gotta have. This week is about places to store your books. Many of us have stacks of books with no place to keep them. Here are some unique ideas on how to give those books a home.

The first item is called Conceal Book Shelf and, in my opinion, is ingenious. This sturdy device requires a hardcover book as its base on which all other books can be stacked. It can hold up to 14 pounds and can be used on any wall in your home. Now your books are not only "put away," but you have a piece of art on your wall. Love, love, love this idea!

The 4D Concepts Hanging Corner Storage is another space-saving idea to store your books. This hangs in any corner of your home with four beautifully designed shelves. Perfect for those tight spaces where putting an actual standing bookshelf is just not possible.

Musing Mondays

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Musing Mondays. This week's musing asks . . . Do you need to have your owned books out where you can see them, or are you okay with them being stored away?

We have an office with bookshelves, so my books are always out on display. The bookshelves were one of the first things we purchased when we moved into our house so our books had a home, too. Right now I have so many that they're not all stacked nicely on the shelves, some tossed on top until I make more room.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Call Me Cate at Show My Face hosts Six Word Saturday. Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words.
Record heat, two boys, cabin fever

Friday, July 22, 2011

Girls Getaway?

Once every year, hubs and his friends from high school go away for the weekend. This is the weekend for them, and they're off to Atlantic City. I'm pretty sure it will be a weekend of drinking, gambling, and swimming (especially since it's 100 degrees here in NJ).

If I'm being honest, I'm not completely okay with these "boys getaways." For one, in our case anyway, we don't take family vacations. With a 5 year old and a 2 year old, we don't travel yet. We're waiting for the terrible 2s and 3s to end before we spoil our, and everyone else's, vacation.

Secondly, hubs and I get very little, if any, time to ourselves. We rarely go out to dinner alone. We don't have a babysitter who can take both kids for a weekend.

Finally, I am with the children 24/7 while he works, plays baseball, and plays in a band. If I get an hour or two each week to myself, without the kids, that's a lot. Why should he get a whole weekend?

I'm sure there are moms out there who get together and go away for a weekend, with no kids and no husbands. Part of me would love to do that. Just the girls. A little shop time. A little spa time. A little wine time. A little alone time. The other part of me would be worried about how the kids are faring alone . . . with my husband. I wonder just how relaxing that getaway would be.

No Filter Friday

Time to take off the tape and let loose with what's on my mind this week:
  1. I think all the talk about this restaurant that doesn't allow children under 6 years old is AWESOME! I have 2 children, ages 5 and 2, and I hate going to restaurants. They don't listen. They whine. They fight. They get up and walk around. It's not enjoyable for me, and I'm their mother. How can that behavior be enjoyable for those trying to eat a meal around us? Lord knows if I actually get out to a restaurant without the kids, I don't want to hear or see somebody else's whining and yelling children. I'm trying to relax - kids-free!
  2. I know it's July in the middle of summer and it's supposed to be hot, but this friggin' heat is killing me.
  3. Wendi Murdoch, the feisty and gorgeous wife of Rupert Murdoch, is a superstar. When she smacked the fool who threw a pie at Rupert's face, I swear a new super-hero was born. Kudos to you, Wendi, for being the only person to stand up in a room full of mostly men to defend your husband. I just hope my hubs doesn't expect me to slap people around on his behalf. If he were 80, maybe. But he's not.

Aloha Friday

Kailani at An Island Life started Aloha Friday. Want to play along? I ask a question, you answer the question in the comments. You can also ask your own question on your blog and link up on Kailani's site. Here's my question:

What's your favorite Madonna song?

Friday Finds

MizB at Should Be Reading hosts Friday Finds. What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Sister by Rosamund Lupton
I Knew You'd Be Lovely by Alethea Black
Us by Michael Kimball
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
It Looked Different on the Model by Laurie Notaro
Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's Your Thing?

Do you ever feel frustrated with your life? Like you should be doing something else? Anything else?

Sometimes, okay most of the time for me anyway, it feels like I need to be doing something more with my life. I left my job about 7 years ago and stay home with my 2 boys. I love them dearly, but I feel like I'm treading water.

That sinking feeling was part of the reason I started blogging. First it was ebay. I thought selling on ebay could be a potential business. Actually, that was hubs' idea. Buying cheap and selling for a profit didn't turn out to be something I really enjoyed.

Then I had babies. Oh, how I wanted those babies! After I had them, I started to panic. Can I do this? Day in, day out? Me and the boys? Just us. All day. Every day.

Some women are cut out to be mothers. That's their full-time job and they love it and they're great at it. They thrive raising children. They love the diapers, cooking, cleaning, organizing, playdates. Me . . . come to find, not so much.

During my 2nd pregnancy, I took to the blogosphere. I enjoy it, but I'm not thriving at it. I've always questioned what it is I want - what do I want to do. I never knew and suppose I still don't. I feel stuck in a rut. I listen and see the things other moms are doing and wonder what my "thing" is. I hope I find it soon. My life is already pretty much half over.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. This week's BTT asks . . . What’s the first book that you ever read more than once? (I’m assuming there’s at least one.) What book have you read the most times? And–how many?

I think I'm in the minority here. I have so many books on my shelf that haven't been read yet, I don't have time to reread any others. I will say, and I'm not sure this counts, the only books I have read more than once are the ones I read to my kids ~ lots of Dr. Suess and Eric Carle.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Suggested Summer Reading?

My 5 year old is starting kindergarten in September. He's my first-born, and every time I think about dropping him off on that first day of school, I get teary-eyed. No point in dwelling on that day now, it will be here soon enough. Before that day arrives, we have a list of books to read.

That's right. My 5 year old has a "suggested summer reading list" before he starts class in September. Did I mention he's 5 . . . and starting kindergarten? I didn't get a summer reading list until I started high school. What's going on here?

I'm all for a good education and having high expectations for your children; however, this list has over 30 books on it with a separate list of about 10 authors who are also "suggested" reads. And by the way, these are not simple picture books we're talking about.

My guy can read. He loves books, and more than half of the time would prefer to read a book than do something else. He's very good with, for example, Eric Carle/Bill Martin books, i.e. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? But this list also contains titles such as A Taste of Colored Water by Matt Faulkner. While he might be able to read this one, he won't understand it. Which is where I come in. Same thing with Zen Shorts by Jon Muth. As far as I'm concerned, this is pretty advanced stuff for a 5 year old. But I'm not complaining . . . well, not really.

We're about half way through the list and are in the library at least once a week. I'm quickly discovering that summer reading lists are also homework for parents over the summer. I'm teaching my child about segregation and philosophy and Zen principles. I have a feeling I'm in for a rude awakening once school starts.