Wednesday, December 24, 2008
And thank you so much to everyone who reads this blog. Becoming part of this amazing community has meant so much to me. I really appreciate all the support. I value and treasure all the relationships I've made online and in real life. I wish you all continued health and happiness for you and your families and the nothing but the best for the coming year. I'll be taking a bit of a break until after the holidays. Enjoy the time with your families!
Photo stolen from here
For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom, Mom Dot, What's That Smell
Monday, December 22, 2008
Hello- I wanted to express my disappointment that fructose is the first ingredient in a children's supplement. It seems that with all the knowledge of how harmful white sugars are your company could have come up with a better alternative like agave or rice syrups .
As an adult, I can make my own decisions about how much sugar I take in daily (though it would be nice to have fructose replaced in all your products). My son depends on me to make those decisions for him. If I did my research correctly, the amount of sugar in one Emergen C Kids is a little over a teaspoon. Adding an extra teaspoon of sugar per day in a little body does not seem like such a wise choice.
As a mom, I'm doing my best to make sure he gets the best, healthiest start possible. He has a cold right now and I was going to start giving him your new supplement to see if it would help shorten the cold's duration but changed my mind after reading the ingredients. I like Emergen C and am using it myself to try and ward off my son's chest cold but again, children and adults process sugar differently.
What's the point of trying to get our children healthy just to give them sugars? Fortunately my son is not overweight and has no dietary issues. But not everyone checks labels carefully. It's a shame that parents who are trying to do the right thing for their kids might be harming them unknowingly. I hope this is an issue the company will be working on in the future. Thank you.
What do you think? Not too harsh, right? I know it's hard to avoid all sugars but am I wrong to feel that it shouldn't be the first ingredient in a supplement? I'll admit I didn't check the label before I started using it. My mom takes it whenever she feels a cold coming on or people at her office are sick and says it works well for her.
I've been following suit and was excited to see that Emergen C had a new line for kids. I went on the website to request a free sample (oh yes I did!) but then read the nutritional information and changed my mind. He's not "sick enough" to be dosed up on cough medicine.
At this point I'm trying to keep the cold from getting worse and hopefully make it shorter. I've been giving Drama Kid Hyland's instead of the emergen C but would love to know if you've found a good supplement or cold shortener for your kids. (photo from Google Images)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Not having any speakers for my iPod, I came up with a totally ghetto solution and dragged out the boombox my uncle gave me when I was 14.
The picture does not do this justice. This thing is big and heavy! But, even after 21 years it still rocks the bells (Holy shit! Now I feel old).
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
This year, we thought we'd escaped the downpour and spoke too soon. Last Saturday we were deciding where to go for hubs' birthday dinner when the shit hit the fan. Literally. One of the downstairs toilets has been stopping up fairly often the past few weeks. I was on the computer and Drama Kid used the loo next door. I could tell by the sound that it was in danger of overflowing. I'm now an expert at overflow stoppage and was able to avoid any spills.
Drama Dad hauled out the plunger again and went to work. And then he said "we're going to need a plumber," and I could swear I heard our credit card commit suicide and plumbers all over the city mark up their "weekend emergency service" prices.
I went into the bathroom and saw this:
You can thank me later for not getting a closer shot. Know what's worse than a bathtub full of shit? Two bathtubs full of shit! Where is Mike Rowe when you need him?
And those baskets on the floor? The ones full of toiletries that used to fit in the master bathroom cabinets at our last apartment but not our house? Yep, they were in the tub. Hubs went to get the phonebook and I tried to stifle my gag reflex and breathe through my mouth.
Roto Rooter arrived, opened up the clean out drains and sent down a snake ($125). The snake made it far enough to relieve the pressure and allow the tubs to drain, but there was still a blockage. We agreed to the extra charge to have a camera sent in (condo colonoscopy) and fully expected them to remove broken toy parts or evidence of some of Drama Kid's mischief. But the diagnosis was worse: tree roots had broken through the pipe. The new estimate? $650. Happy Birthday honey!
What about you? Do crises seem to happen to you all at once? Have you ever had a bathtub full of poo?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
We talk about the details of our lives, often very intimate details. Some bloggers put it all out there, which is their choice. I've tried to keep some identifying personal details off the blog mostly for the sake of my son. But, what to do when an interesting opportunity comes along that crosses over the boundaries you've set up?
The Drama family was recently interviewed for a newspaper article about the economy and its impact on a couple's decision to have or have more children. It was published in print and online yesterday. Having worked for a newspaper I knew our last names would be in the article but since the paper is not in San Diego I wasn't too concerned.
But, this morning a producer for a local TV station called out of the blue asking if we'd like to be part of a similar story with a more localized focus. I agreed and asked how they found me since I hadn't provided any contact information, let alone my home phone number.
She found me through ZabaSearch. I've heard of the site before but I guess I was in a state of "ignorance is bliss" because since no one has ever contacted me using it before now that must mean no one is looking for me, right? [ETA: My ZabaSearch results gave my name, address (fortunately not our current), home phone and year of birth. The site had our last address under my name and hubby's, and our last three addresses under hubby's name.]
There is so much information online that is easily available to the public it would scare me shitless if I thought it about all the time. It seems no on is immune to having their lives exposed with a few simple mouse clicks. If you haven't taken the time to ZabaSearch or Google yourself or your family members do it now. You may be surprised at what comes up.
Many of the sites that compile personal information have a legal right to do so which is frustrating to say the least. We as citizens also have the right to ask that the information be hidden which is what I'm doing with ZabaSearch. It seems that the age of technology means anyone can be found at any time. But I'm not going to let it be so easy anymore.
There are artists and songs I've never heard of but am totally digging. I didn't know the Barenaked Ladies had a Christmas CD let alone they did a duet with Michael Buble!
Remember Jars of Clay? Yeah I didn't either until I came across this song. Free stuff rocks! Happy downloading! (Thanks Penny Pinching Diva!)
Monday, December 8, 2008
We should make more of an effort to buy American, buy local and buy sustainable. We should become a better example to our kids of what "people over possessions" really means, particularly over the holidays.
Helping the military and their families is a cause that's really important to me. I'll never forget the generosity of the small business my husband was working for when he was activated after 9/11. They gave him a small salary while he was gone which was so helpful to me since I was managing the household alone.
Not every military family can say the same. Despite the housing allowance and commissary, many families still really struggle to make ends meet, and it can leave parents feeling frustrated and depressed.
Here are a few organizations I've come across who have cheap, easy or free ways to send some holiday love to our men and women in uniform. because morale is so important.
*I found Wish Upon a Hero through an affiliate program I belong to.
Anyone can post a wish for something they want or need. I've used it to ask for help with the postcards and DVD player for my soldier and have gotten a nice response. I've also granted wishes by sending cards and postcards. There are many people looking for "small" but meaningful wishes that won't cost you much, if anything (free to join the site).
*Xerox has set up a site where you choose a postcard and they will mail it to a military member FREE (thanks Thrifty Mommy!).
*I saw eMail Our Military on Mommy Pie's site and had to look into it.
They have so many projects to contribute to (more than listed here):
- Care Packages
- Soup for the Troops
- Voice mail messages
- Artwork from kids (great for a Scouts, class or church project)
*The Red Cross is also sending cards to soldiers (postmark deadline 12/10).
*At the Starbucks near me and the Albertson's, shoppers can buy bags of coffee and leave them to be sent to the troops.
*And there is always the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
If you know of any other groups supporting the military for the holidays (or any other good causes) please leave it in the comments.
And, with the money pinch so many of us are feeling, will you be taking a more grassroots approach to the holidays?
(*None of theses companies know I've written about them)
Friday, December 5, 2008
5 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil orvegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3 tablespoons lemon juice*
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon seasoning salt**
1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 7 ounce package thin spaghetti
In a large skillet, saute onions& garlic in butter& oil until tender.
Stir in the chicken, lemon juice, parsley, seasoned salt& lemon-pepper.
Saute for 15-20 min or until chicken juices run clear.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.
Add to chicken mixture and toss.
*I like lemon. Actually I love lemon. The lemoney-er (more lemony?) the better. I usually have at least 5 TBS and add a little to the pasta water and a little more when adding the cooked spaghetti to the chicken mixture.
**I use garlic salt
(photo from Kristen's Flickr page)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This particular parka vest is only $19.99. My hesitation? How do I wear it? Like in the picture with a tight shirt and jeans? Can I mix it with cords?
I'm not 25 anymore and I don't want to look like I'm trying to look 25. So, please help me put an outfit together so I can go back and buy it today before the Costco phenomenon takes effect (eg buy it when you see it or it's gone!)
(photo from Google images)
Monday, December 1, 2008
The uncertainty of the current economy (are we in a recession or aren't we?) has many people scaling back for the holidays . In the blog world I'm seeing a call to support local retailers and mom owned businesses. To buy handmade.
And that's as it should be. Local merchants and products made in our country keep the economy moving and strong, create jobs and helps our environment. I'm all for helping the little guy. I plan to do my part and
But, (and there had to be one, right?) I don't see anything wrong with a little bit of daydreaming. A little fantasizing about things we'd like to have just for the pleasure of having them. Wishing, if you will.
While it might seem a bit selfish and self indulgent to some, I see nothing wrong in letting the imagination wild if it brings a smile to your face.
“Wishing is good for us. Daydreams, fantasies, castles in the air, and aspirations all drive us forward, impel us to make things happen. They also tell us a lot about ourselves. Our wishes come straight from our core, and they are loaded with vital info." - Anonymous
If someone were to ask me what things I'd want Oprah's elves to bring out to me while I tried not to faint dead away from happiness (how pissed were the people in the audience last week!) I could rattle off a list a mile long. But that would get boring. So I've narrowed it down to five.
I've had this item on my list for some time. I've put it out in the universe that I will own these before I turn 40. They are so beautiful, timeless and classic.
Why I want them needs no explanation. Take a moment and just drink them in. Gorgeous, right?
This second item can actually be classified as a need and a want. I need to go back to school so I can find a job and I want to be able to use my own laptop. See how I did that?
Seriously though, if I want to learn InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash I need a system with some serious brawn. And this computer juggling we're doing now with our desktop and hubby's work laptop is getting a little old. Plus, Drama Dad can play his WoW and check Fantasy Football to his hearts content without me breathing down his neck because I have to get my post done. A want, need and marital aid! Can't put a price on that!
The third thing is something hubby can use too. We've been wanting a grown up camera for some time. I dropped the one I use now the last time I went out with The Bitches. Since then there's been an ominous rattling noise from somewhere inside and the lens jiggles.
One thing I've really enjoyed about blogging is participating in Wordless Wednesday. I notice things more because I'm trying to frame them in my mind and I take a lot more pictures than I used to. I'd like to see what I could come up with armed with better tools.
Santa brought Drama Kid a bike last Christmas and the training wheels came off not too long ago. I have a bike, but the rust is so bad I'm afraid it's going to disintegrate at the slightest touch leaving only the tires and seat. It's not pretty. But this bike is!
This Schwinn is the Rolls Royce of beach cruisers. I bet the ride is so comfortable and smooth. Like business class on a transatlantic flight. Sigh.
And because I'm not totally selfish the last item is a family vacation. We've never been on one and Drama Kid keeps asking to go to the places he's heard his friends talk about. He keeps mentioning Hawaii but I say French Polynesia all the way!
A hut over the water with glass floors to see the tropical fish? Hunky Polynesian men rowing out to bring me drinks with umbrellas? Yeah, I think I could go for that.
If I were to do this again next week there might be a different pair of Louboutin's or I might want to go to Greece or Spain, but basically it would remain the same. Although I could be swayed by a great handbag.
Now it's your turn. Post the five things you'd put on your list on your blog and leave it in the Mr. Linky below. It will be fun to see how different everyone's lists are.
My mom started the tradition of putting on her Christmas CD's after the Thanksgiving dishes were all washed and put away. I used to think she was crazy, but now it seems the holidays go by so quickly I need to squeeze every minute out of them so I break mine out then too.
This is the time of year I really miss living in the midwest. As I type this I'm copying all my music to a playlist on my iPod (Hello Apple? You people are freaking geniuses!). Walking on the beach listening to White Christmas is kind of a cruel joke. Shorts and flip flops in December is unnatural. Yeah, I know, boo hoo. I'm sharing my collection and a few songs here then asking for your help.
Who doesn't love Harry? This CD has all his signature style: jazzy, upbeat and mellow.
I listened to some of this CD at Borders last year and instantly fell in love with it. I'd never heard any of Diana's music before. She has an amazing voice.
I grew up on Motown. This CD was one my mom had as a record.
She had my dad take all her Christmas records and record them on tape. Not a small cassette tape, the big giant spools of tape on a deck.
My dad was so proud of his "media center!" There was no "shuffle" setting so the tape would play over and over and I would complain because I'd memorized the order of the songs.
I bought this CD at Kohl's as part of their Kohl's Cares. It's so good! Christmas Time makes me cry almost every time I hear it (tearing now). I wish it was in the Seeqpod library but this song is good too.
No Christmas library is complete without the King. This CD has played on repeat for hours and I've never gotten tired of it. What a voice!
More Motown. This one has a lot of Supremes and Temptations.
And this does too, along with the Jackson 5 (when they were normal).
This was a Costco find. I love this woman. She's beautiful and talented and her voice is perfect for Christmas music.
This was the first Christmas CD I bought. Stevie Nicks' version of Silent Night is my absolute favorite.
A Cheryl Crow and Mary J. Blige duet? Yes please! This compilation is great.
Sensing a pattern? I really love the idea that these CD's support a cause. And ya gotta love Run DMC.
I try to add a new CD every year and would love your input. What CD do I need to add to my collection? What are your favorites?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Next week, on Tuesday December 2nd, I will be posting the five things I'd put on my Christmas list if money were no object. You can write a post on your blog and come here to add it to the Mr. Linky. It seems that blog brain freeze is going around and I'm glad to help any of you who have run dry after NaBloHoHoHo. You're very welcome.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This year I am am thankful for:
3. Zoe (our cat)
4. The military
8. My family
9. Daddy twice because he's in the military
10. My toys
11. Our house
12. Food and water
13. My school
14. My cousins
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and many blessings to you this coming holiday season! (photo from here)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
"My babysitter doesn't respond to voicemail. If I leave a message, I don't hear from her. But if I send a text, she gets back to me right away."Um, excuse me? You give someone your hard earned money to ignore you? And you leave your children with this person?
Babysitter types listen up: If I have entrusted you with the care of my child, my heart, my reason for being, the most precious person on this earth you WILL respond to me IMMEDIATELY whether I've sent you a voicemail, text message, smoke signals or hired a skywriter.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Seeing the walkers and crew members come in for the final stretch was so inspiring. I was handing out their Victory shirts and the single long-stemmed pink roses that Pro Flowers provides every year.
As the walkers passed through the Victory tent, the crew received grey shirts, walkers got white and survivors, pink. My table was right next to where the survivors picked up their shirts. It was very hard not to be in tears all day.
Seeing that pile of pink shirts grow smaller throughout the day was both heartbreaking and celebratory. If I had the privilege of handing a rose to a survivor I bowed and said "congratulations" which definitely had more than one meaning.
One woman stopped for her shirt and her team had her pose for a photo. One second she was smiling and laughing and the next she was sobbing. They wrapped her in a group hug and they all cried together. I felt a bit like a voyeur. Even surrounded by thousands of people it was such an intimate moment.
I also got to be there when they announced that the last walker was about to come in. I saw her Saturday and honestly thought she was a homeless person taking advantage of the sweets and other things being passed out along the route.
When the announcement came out that she was on her way in, every walker there cheered and moved forward to try and get her picture. She was brought in with a police escort and when she stopped to put on her shirt she was in tears. As were so many others. She posed for photos and I gave her the entire bundle of flowers I was holding.
The official statistics haven't come out but I heard there were between 4,500-5,000 walkers this year and they raised just over $11 million dollars.
My mom is already committed to walking again next year. She may or may not stop after her tenth which she really wants to do in either San Francisco or Denver.
These ladies were not allowed to walk since they are currently undergoing their chemo treatments. They are both in their 20's.
I will definitely be out there again next year and I hope you will too. And like I mentioned in my first post, when the walkers take off one shoe and lift it high as the survivors enter The Survivors Circle, it gets me, every time.
Way to go mom! You rock!
Read about the other two days of the walk: Day 1, Day 2