Monday, October 11, 2010

Random Rantings and a Day Off!

It's been a week since I last blogged. I guess I am still a bloggy slacker... BUT I do have A LOT of excuses. *wink, wink*

1. Being pregnant is exhuasting.
2. Morning sickness
3. Second and third graders have a lot of homework.
4. My husband's "busy season" has begun.
5. Flag football every Thursday.
6. Our weekends have been jammed-packed!

Ok, well that's only six excuses, but they are all legitimate! =)

Next topic.

I've been having the crazy, vivid pregnancy dreams lately. Last night I dreamt I was a doctor and then delivered my own baby! Two nights ago I dreamt John & I bought a house with my stepson's mother and fiance and I kept getting stuck doing all the dishes.

I wonder what those dreams mean? If you analyze dreams, by all means let me know what these crazy dreams mean!

Next topic.

Have you ever had a close family member that totally crossed a line? I won't go into details, but a couple of weeks ago I had a close family member make some statements that truly offended my husband and me. I haven't talked to her since. Although she apologized to my husband she has not apologized to me. Maybe she doesn't realize how hurtful her statements were?

I'm sure over time I will just get over it. But this particular family member gets away with making hurtful remarks like that to various family members quite often and I am just tired of walking on eggshells around her. She's one of those people who can dish it, but can't take it. How do you handle situations like that? I'm not a very confrontational person unless I really have to be...

I have the day off today!!

Today is Columbus Day and one of the perks of being a state employee is having Columbus Day off. The reason this is so awesome is b/c the kiddos have school! That's right - I'm home and the kiddos are not here today! But it's not a totally free day for me. I do want to get some major cleaning done today - or at least some moderate cleaning...

I need to at least vacuum, but I really should run the carpet steam cleaner too... I need to straighten up the kitchen, but I really should do the hardwood floors and the stainless steel... I need to do some light dusting, but I really should do some heavy dusting...

What I really want to do? Nap. Nap and watch A Baby Story.

It's not quite noon and I have until three before the kiddos get home so I better get busy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bloggy Slacker

Yes, I've been a bloggy slacker. The last few weeks have just proven hard to find the time (or energy) to blog.  As most of you know, my husband and I are expecting a baby - after a whole year of battling secondary infertility. I am thrilled to be pregnant, but everything comes with a price.

Two weeks ago I was on bed rest due to something called subchrionic bleeding. Later, my doctor discovered two empty yolk sacks in my uterus. My understanding of that discovery is that there was originally 3 embryos, but only one implanted. Quite the revelation!

Pregnancy has also made me totally, utterly exhausted. Expected, I know. Still it has really thrown me for a loop. It's hard to work all day and then taxi around two 8 year old boys at night. And then homework, dinner, etc. By the time I get all the "must do" stuff completed, I am whooped! No energy to blog.

And, can you believe, I haven't been feeling the Twitter thing either lately?! That's just not normally like me. Maybe I'm in a funk? But I really don't feel like I am ... I am just tired. I am focusing every. single. stitch. of energy that I have on getting through me day.

Oh, and I thought I was going to avoid the morning sickness thing this time around - wrong! Still, it's not as bad as it was with my first pregnancy, but I am still having some nausea..

Last week, Khegan's grandfather passed away. I know I may have mentioned this to some of you before on Twitter. Khegan was very close to his Pappie. His mother lives/lived with her mom and dad so Khegan saw Pappie frequently. It was very tough on him (and still is). It's been an ordeal for our entire stepfamily. Emotionally exhausting.

Then, just last weekend one of my best friends got married. I was in the wedding of course. I had to juggle all the pre-wedding events with Khegan's grandfather's funeral events. It was challenging, but I managed. The wedding was beautiful and everyone had a great time.

I am going to try my bestest to get back on the bloggy train. There is no way I am going to be posting every day like I was for awhile. But, I am going to try to post 2 to 3 times a week. So please don't give up on me! =)

Scentsy Giveaway Winners!!

Hi Everyone! Sorry I'm a few days late on announcing the winners... (please refer to my Bloggy Slacker post for more details about where I've been). But I'm here now and ready to announce the winners to this FABULOUS giveaway sponsored by Independent Scentsy Consultant, Sandy Osterday. Thanks Sandy!

Grand Prize Winner of the Mid Size Enchanted Warmer and Two Scentsy Bars (your choice of scents) is lucky random #7 - Sarah from Overthinking Mama!

2nd Place Winner of a Scentsy Buddy (your choice) is random #85 Shel from Auntie Thesis!

3rd Place Winner of Sandy's Mystery Scentsy Package - A Variety of Scentsy Items for On-the-Go is random #121 Jessica!

Congratulations to all my winners! 

Sad you didn't win? Stop by Sandy's Scentsy Website to order today!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guest Post by Jennifer from Family of Seven

As most of you probably know, this pregnancy is kicking my butt! I am tired all the time! After working all day, doing  homework with the boys, and getting dinner on the table; I do not have much energy left for blogging. That is why when Jennifer from the blog Family of Seven contacted me and offered to write a guest post, I jumped on the opportunity!

Jennifer has a houseful, with 5 children, 3 dogs, 2 puppies, 2 gerbils and a hamster. When you have a family  that size the expression, "When it rains, it pours!" does not even begin to describe the chaos that ensues when...

How about I just let Jennifer tell it?

A Typical (Stormy) Day

Recently we got hit with a bad tropical storm. Rain pelted our rooftop while the wind howled and screamed. Outside, tree limbs fell like leaves in the fall, and the wind was a visible entity. Inside, we may have been warm and dry but things were far from calm.

Usually, we take the dogs out as soon as we wake up. Well, on this particular morning, they stubbornly refused to go out. We opened the door, they both started out until they saw the lake that was steadily forming in our back yard, and the deluge of water falling from the sky. Our Doberman puppy, Izzy, and our old girl Tessa, spent the entire day curled up on the couch, not eating or drinking…just so they wouldn’t have to endure the rain.

In the meantime, I was trying to work while David was attempting to rein the kids in. Our five children, who are used to being able to run outside to release some pent up energy, were going stir crazy. This was not conducive to a good work environment, I can tell you.

Then, right after lunch, the worst thing happened. Or, at least it was the worst thing considering we had five stir-crazy children, 2 camels holding their bladders, 3 other dogs shaking water and mud everywhere, a frustrated Daddy and a Mommy trying desperately to get some work done!

Our power went out.

For the next 4-1/2 hours we tried in vain to keep the children occupied; however, this is not an easy feat with 5 diverse personalities. We brought out board games; they argued. We finally picked one for them and they started playing. The older children yelled at the younger children for not doing it right. We advised them to try teaching the younger ones how to play instead of yelling…and of course we had to reiterate this several times.
We consoled the younger children by telling them that they would play Monopoly Jr. next, but by the time they finished the first game, the older ones didn’t want to play it. To be fair, we told them that they had to play with the younger ones because they played their game first.

By this time, David and I were getting extremely frustrated. We sent the older 2 kids to bed, and played Monopoly Jr. with the younger 3, the entire time wondering when our salvation would arrive. When would our power be turned back on?!

Luckily, our power came back on in time for dinner. The rain eased up for a while, and we were finally able to take the camels…I mean dogs…outside to use the facilities. We were blessedly free from excitement until the middle of the night.

About 1 a.m., I was lying in bed listening to David snore and reading a book on my iPhone. The storm outside was again raging; this time the thunder boomed so loud it kept me from sleeping. Apparently I wasn’t the only one.

I heard a knock at the door. I knew this was coming…the thunder was so loud, it sounded like a train was rumbling through our back yard! I got up and answered the door. My 11 year old daughter stood there, crying.

“I’m scared.”

Inwardly sighing, I asked her if she wanted to sleep with us. When I got up to let her in, my 8 year old was also asking to sleep with us. Closing my eyes, I pictured my queen size bed overflowing with limbs…
“Yes, baby you can sleep with us.”

I slid over against David, and the two girls climbed in. We snuggled up, ready to weather the storm together. Unfortunately, we still couldn’t sleep. About an hour later, another little monkey jumped onto the bed…this time, the 3 year old.

I didn’t get any sleep that night…in fact; I was still awake when my alarm went off at 5 the next morning. The start of yet another uneventful day!

Read more about life in a large family at Family of Seven

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Our Little Peanut

Here is our little peanut at our 6 week ultrasound!

See the little peanut-shaped blob? That's our baby!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Letters to God

One of the most important tasks we are entrusted with as parents is teaching our children about God. A strong faith in God will help your children to get through many difficult situations. Religion helps guide parents to teach there children proper moral values.

It can be difficult, at times, to teach children about God in terms they understand. That is why I am always looking for fun and creative ways to teach my children about God.

Last weekend, my mother came to visit and brought this book as a gift to my boys. I LOVE this book. It is about a little boy named Tyler who's father had taught him to talk to God when he needs help.

On this particular day Tyler needed help finding a compass to take on a fishing trip with his grandpa. He decides to write a letter to God asking for help. As he walks to the mailbox, he passes other people who are in need of help. Each time he stops and adds to his letter, asking that God help the other people.

It is a very sweet book that teaches children how to talk to God and how to pray for themselves and others. It is very basic and easy to read. The reading level is probably from about 1st to 3rd grade (my boys are in 2nd and 3rd and both had no problem reading the book aloud).

At the end of the book there is an envelope with a blank letter. It says "Dear God" at the top and "Love," at the bottom. This is for your child to write their own letter to God. After reading this book, both of my boys were very excited to write their own letters to God. They spent the biggest part of an hour on their letters! To preserve the book, I made copies of the blank letter for them to actually write on. That way they can write more and more letters to God using the template from the book.

This blog was not a paid review and is not in conjunction with a giveaway of any kind - I just LOVED this book! If you are interested in buying your own Letters to God book here is the link to buy from Amazon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Random Stuff & What's in Store for the Weekend

 Before I tell you about my upcoming weekend marathon filled with parties, food, and football I must share with you ...

 The gift basket I put together for my stepsister's baby shower


 The sweet pinkness that I couldn't resist... 

One of the 3 pregnant women in my family (who doesn't know their baby's sex yet - actually 4 pregnancies.. ) has to have a girl!

Ok, now time for some randomness...

My darling, sweet husband started RCIA classes last night. RCIA stands for Rights of Catholic Initiation for Adults. I'm Catholic. Riley's Catholic. John & I were married in a Catholic church. We attended Catholic marriage prep classes. He completed an annulment of his first marriage through the Catholic Church. We attend Catholic mass on Sundays. The boys have went to PSR (Parish School of Religion) classes the last two years. This year both boys are on track to make their first holy communion this year, which is a Catholic sacrament. Just one problem - Khegan has to be baptized first. In order for him to be baptized he must be presented for baptism by a Catholic parent - stepparents don't count. So my wonderful, loving husband is making an eight month commitment to complete the RCIA classes so Khegan can be baptized. Why? Because it's important to me! I love that man. 

Complaints disguised as randomness... 
More  randomness...

I'm tired. 

I 'm not getting enough rest. 

I know this because I'm tired.

Riley is sick.

Or, possibly, faking sick.

Not sure which it is.

I should be cleaning my house right now...

for the parties (yes plural) this weekend. 


My weekend schedule...

Friday after work I need to 1) Pick up a couple things at the grocery store 2) Clean my house 3) Make an ice cream cake (very easy - maybe a blog post?) 4) Bake a regular cake, and 5) Prep all the food and munchies I'm making for the OSU vs. Miami football party. Saturday at noon is Khegan's birthday party. Saturday morning I need to wrap his gifts, prep food some more, make sure house is still clean, and then at noon the fun begins. The footbal party immediately follows the birthday party starting at 3:30pm. 

Did I mention I will have my mom and one of my sisters spending the night at my house on Saturday too?

Sunday morning we will have to go to 9:30 mass (we usually go to noon mass) because of my stepsister's baby shower that starts at 1pm. It's being held in the community center clubhouse in my neighborhood. But I digress... After mass is the boys first PSR class this year. Actually, it is a parent information sesscion and it will run from 10:40 til 11:15. Then I will need to rush home to help set up the baby shower. It will probably be four o'clock before that's all wrapped up. 

So that'll give me just enough time left to straighten up the mess from Saturday and maybe blog.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Babies Galore, Babies R Us, and Seeing Pink!

My life revolves around babies and pregnancies! My husband and I just found out we are expecting, after a year of trying to conceive! Also my stepsister is pregnant, my sister is pregnant, and my sister in law is pregnant!

Babies galore, I tell ya!

My stepsister is due in November. This will be her and her husband's first child. She is having a boy and his name will be Owen. Her baby shower is this weekend. Last night I went to Babies R Us to get her a shower gift.

Babies R Us should really display a sign on their front door that reads something like, WARNING: NEWLY PREGNANT WOMEN ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. A warning, such as this, may have deterred me from spending twice as much as I had planned to in the store. May have.

Another warning that might be nice - DO NOT SHOP FOR BLUE WHEN YOU ARE SEEING PINK - My nephew probably won't wear the cute little pink dress I bought. Or the adorable pink pants and glittery top that matches. Or the little brown onesie with ruffled sleeves that says 'sweetheart' and has glittery gold hearts on the front. And he probably won't need the little pick wicker basket I bought. (Although, in my defense, I did by Owen a brown basket and so I got the pink one was half off...) Still. Hmmmm.

Even if John and I have a bouncing baby boy, chances are pretty good that someone in my family will be seeing pink!  As I am standing in the checkout line, at Babies R Us, contemplating the chances of one of us (me, my sister, or my SIL) having a baby girl when the cashier asked, "Do you want to sign up for our rewards card?" Umm, yes. Hello? Who is going to be having FOUR new babies in her family?! Me! So yes. YES. YES!!! Sign me up!

There will be babies galore in this family! 

My sister is due February 11th. Of course, we don't know what she's having yet. (She will find out in less than three weeks though!) Like me, she is seeing pink! However, she has managed to stay out of Babies R Us thus far. How? I don't know. But she does have a Harley shirt and some Red Wings gear tucked away for her baby. 

My sister in law is due on February 28th. This is her 3rd baby in three years. Her fifth child. Chance are pretty good her almost two year old will still be in diapers when baby #3 is born! Three babies in diapers. Wow. She is one tough cookie and I admire her greatly. Her two youngest are boys. And, like me and my sister, she is seeing pink!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

We're Pregnant!!

I'm sure most of you've already know from Twitter or FB... 

Still Yay!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why are Children Obessed with Pokemon Cards?

My boys are obsessed with Pokemon cards.

They love to collect them. They trade them. They watch Pokemon on TV. They have Pokemon video games. They beg me to watch Pokemon videos on You Tube. They carry their Pokemon care collections, neatly displayed in binders, to school with them every day so that they can trade with the other kids at the babysitters after school.

I don't understand it.

Normally, I would write it off to "it's a boy thing" and be done with it, but my niece is also obsessed with Pokemon.

What is it about Pokemon that 7 & 8 year olds find so utterly fascinating??

They boys tell me about the characters and what their "evolvinations" are. Basically, I think the little Pokemon animals turn into powerful fighting machines. I hear stories about Pokemon characters told to me like the boys are talking about real life events they have witnessed or something that happened at school that day.

Maybe it's the trading they like? Maybe it's the collecting? Maybe it's the game they play with the cards? It's hard for me to believe they actually like the TV show. What do you think? Why are children obsessed with Pokemon cards?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Julie Sancken Photography Giveaway Winners!

A big thank you to my friend Julie from Back to Basics Blog who sponsored this giveaway! Check out more of Julie's photo's at Julie Sancken Photography. Follow Julie on Twitter @basicallyjulie.

And the winners are...

Random #3 - Kimberly at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something wins photo #1


Random #2 - Sheila at Cooking Underwriter wins photo #2

Friday, September 3, 2010

Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure Giveaway Winners!!!!

First, I'd like to thank Master Books and New Leaf Publishing Company for the opportunity to review Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure and for allowing me to hold a giveaway of this great book! The four winners where selected with a Random Number Generator. The winners are:

#24 - Sheila from The Cooking Underwriter Find her on Twitter @CookUnderwriter

#15 - Cate from Real Life With Kids Find her on Twitter @ReallifeWkids

#20 - Bonnie from Life as I Know It Find her on Twitter @BonniesBows

# 7 - Mama On Da Go from Mama on Da Go Find her on Twitter @MamaOnDaGo14


For those of you who did not win....

You can buy your copy of  Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure on Amazon


Enter to win from another blog who is still holding a contest!! They are listed here!

Men and Football

What's with men and football?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching the occasionally football game and I follow The Ohio State Buckeyes 1) Because that's how I was raised, 2) Because that's my alma mater, and 3) Because they rock!   

Go Bucks!  

 Still, men get obsessive about their football.

And to be fair I suppose some women do too. 

Why is football so appealing?

Is it because they like to watch grown men tackle each other? Is it because they like the violence of the game? Is it because they like the competition? Seriously, I'd like to know.

How is it that football gets grown men yelling and cussing and throwing the remote and dancing around the living room like and idiot? 

In my house there are "rules" when it comes to football. #1. NO talking while the game is on. #2. The TV will be LOUD - deal with it. #3. Kids, plug your ears because I can't be held accountable for what I might say!

However, I do get quite the kick out of watching my husband either curse or praise the players as they run around in tights slapping each others asses. (Only in football can men get away with slapping each other on the ass and it be a masculine thing.)

My husband has thrown remotes. He has slammed doors. He has yelled so loud the house shakes. Once we had a huge argument because his mood (and the mood of the whole entire house) changed after a bad loss.

Oh, and apparently football takes precedence over kids birthday parties in our house.

On Saturday September 11th we are having Khegan's birthday party. We are a stepfamily and Khegan goes back and forth between our house and his mothers. We do NOT have him that weekend, but it's the weekend before his birthday so I went to great lengths to negotiate with his mother to have him from 4-7 pm on that Saturday for his party.

But, God forbid - that is the day of the OSU vs. Miami game!!!!!

Hubs comes home and says, "Oh, by the way, I invited a few friends over for the Miami game. It's the day of Khegan's party so we need to move his party til noon."


"Hell no!" I say. "I just negotiated the whole thing out with your ex-wife. If you want to change it all around then you call her and fix it!"

And he did. 

Now I have two parties to cook for that day.

I blame football.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Scentsy Product Review & Giveaway

A New Breed of Mom is proud to announce Scentsy Independent Consultant, Sandy Osterday, as our first official site sponsor! Working with Sandy to prepare this product review & giveaway, has been great fun! Scentsy offers a variety of great products you will be sure to love!

What is Scentsy? Scentsy is a direct sales business, meaning it is run buy independent consultants. Scentsy sells flameless candles and a variety of other fun products guaranteed to make your home, car, or office smell great! They offer a variety of warmers so you are sure to find a design that fits your own personal style!

Why I have fallen in love with Scentsy Products: From the minute I opened the box containing my Scentsy products, I was in heaven. The wonderful aroma filled up my kitchen, even before I used my warmer. The scents I have tried are Black Rasberry Vanilla, Sticky Cinnamon Bun, Berry Blush, and Cinnamon Bear. The Black Rasberry Vanilla is my favorite!

I've melted these scents in my Mid-Size Limestone Warmer from the Smooth Stone Collection, which looks great in my living room! The Sweet Pea & Vanilla scented Travel Tin, I tested, is ideal for your office. I also had the chance to test a Mountain Retreat scented Hanging Freshner for my car - LOVED it! In the future, I'd love to try the Room Sprays. Scentsy is definitely giving leading candle companies a run for their money!

In order to get all my readers acquainted with Scentsy, Sandy & I have cooked up an awesome giveaway! 

Here is what you can win! 

Grand Prize
Mid-size Enchanted Warmer and 2 Scentsy Bars (your choice of scents)

2nd Prize
Scentsy Buddy (your choice)

 3rd and 4th Prize 
Sandy's Mystery Scentsy Package - Contains a Variety of Scentsy Items for On-the-Go!

Contest Rules:
The contest is open to both U.S. and Canada residents. The Giveaway will run the entire month of September and winners will be announced on October 1st. To enter, you must follow A New Breed of Mom with Google Friend Connect, and enter a SEPARATE COMMENT for EACH entry. Winners will be determined by a random number generator. First number wins the Grand Prize, 2nd number wins the 2nd Prize, etc.

Mandatory Entry: Go to Sandy's Scentsy Site and tell me what your favorite products are, what scents you would choose if you won the Grand Prize, and/or what Scentsy Buddy you would choose.

Additional Entries:
Follow Sandy on Twitter @SDScentGal 
Follow Me on Facebook
Follow Me on Twitter @NewBreedMama
Tweet about this contest! "Enter to win great Scentsy Products from @SDScentGal & @NewBreedMama!" You can tweet up to 3 times a day for additional entries - please link to your tweet in your comment so I can verify it.

Remember to log a SEPARATE COMMENT for EACH entry!

Can't Wait to Buy Scentsy Products? Order here!

Interested in becoming a Scentsy Independent Consultant? Click here!

Julie Sancken Photography Giveaway

In honor of Wordless Wednesday, I am excited to announce the Julie Sancken Photography Giveaway! Julie and I first met through Twitter. She is a great friend and I love reading her personal blog, Back to the Basics. Julie is not only a fun person to follow on Twitter (@basicallyjulie) but she is also an awesome photographer! Check out the Julie Sancken Photography blog!

Giveaway: Win a 5'7 of one of the great photos below. Contest will be held from Wednesday September 1st through Sunday September 5th. Winner will be announced on Monday September 6th. There will be two winners chosen by a random number generator. Random #1 will receive Photo #1 and Random #2 will receive Photo #2.

Photo #1

Photo #2

Mandatory Entry: 
Follow Julie's Photography Blog with GFC, look around, and tell me what you like about her photography!

Additional Entries:
Follow Back to the Basics Blog with GFC
Follow Julie on Twitter @basicallyjulie
Tweet about this giveaway! "I want to win the Julie Sancken Photography Giveaway on A New Breed of Mom!"

You must enter a SEPARATE COMMENT for EACH entry! Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stuffed Green Peppers

Everyone is interested in the Stuffed Peppers recipe I used the other night! I was originally going to blog about making them and the recipe I used, but thought no one would be interested! Guess I was wrong! Here is the recipe I used. Given to me by co-workers - thanks Angie and Timyra!

1/2 cup instant rice
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 onion (I used a full cup)
Large Can of Tomato Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Seasoning to Taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder, hot shot, Tabasco)
Fills 4-6 Large Green Peppers

Brown the ground beef and added the onions, seasoning, and a little later about 1/2 the can of tomato sauce.

Then microwave the Green Peppers in hot water for 2 minutes each.

Mix the rice and the ground beef/onion/tomato sauce with the rice and stuffed the peppers. Add the left-over stuffing to the bottom of the baking dish. Top with the rest of the tomato sauce. Bake 25 minutes, remove from oven and top with shredded mozzarella, then bake 5 more minutes.

They were delish!

Back in the Swing of Things! Sort of...

A Nice Family - Not Mine!
This week is the first full week of school. That means re-adjusting to the school year routine. Homework, dinner, football practice on Tuesday nights, shower, reading, and bedtime by nine. We are back in the swing of things.

Sort of.

The boys are getting used to their earlier bed time. They are waking up just a few minutes earlier than in the summer time, but it seems like a lot earlier to them.

And to me.

I am NOT a morning person. That extra thirty minutes that we need to make sure the boys have plenty of time to get dressed and to the bus stop - it's a killer! Although, I feel especially tired this week. Maybe the busy summer is finally catching up with me. 

The after school homework routine was not that bad tonight. Reading only. The boys did a pretty good job getting home and getting their homework finished. Only a minimal amount of sass, which I promptly nipped in the bud.

We had a nice dinner (stuffed green peppers - yum!) and a nice dinner conversation about how the boys day went. We heard about who they sat by in class, at lunch, and who they played with at recess. I have always been a firm believer in family dinner. It's a great way to spend quality time as a family.

Tomorrow is the second football practice of the season. A few more weeks of practice and then we will add a game once a week. The boys' enjoy it and we love to watch them play! I think it's important to get kids involved in sports and extra-curricular activities this day in age. It helps to keep them off the couch! :)

All in all we are back in the swing of things. We will have to make a few minor adjustments over the course of the next few weeks - still, it's back to the same old routine.  

Are you back in the swing of things since school resumed? How are you helping your kiddos to adjust? How are you adjusting? I'd love to hear you comments!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Charlie & Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure: Review and Giveaway

Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure is the first book in the Green Notebook Series and is a fun adventure book for children from ages four to eight. The main character is Charlie, an adventurous little monkey who's not so sure he believes in God. His partner in crime is Trike the triceratops, who's constantly keeping Charlie out of trouble while teaching him that God is real and to trust the Bible.

In Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure the twosome sets off with their tour guide, Captain Wes, who's a large, burly man with one eye. This intimates Charlie who is very skeptical of the captain and has convinced himself that the captain is stealing his food. It doesn't take long after Captain Wes helps Charlie out of a jam, for Charlie to realize who the real culprit is!

As Charlie and Trike tour the Grand Canyon, Trike explains to Charlie about Noah and the Great Worldwide Flood from the Bible. Trike is a smart triceratops who uses clues about fossils and rock patterns to teach Charlie about the Flood. While examining fossils in the Grand Canyon, Charlie takes notes in his special green notebook.

Since receiving our copy of Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure, I've read it with my boys several times. They love hearing about the adventures of this curious little monkey and friendly triceratops. I love it that they are having fun learning about God! This book also has held there attention because it is full of flip-the-flap books, maps, green notebook entries, and clues!

Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure can be purchased on Amazon. Normally priced at $15.99, this book is now available for $12.47.

The folks from Masters Books have given me FOUR copies of Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure to give away to four lucky readers! That means that there are FOUR different "Adventures" or ways that you can enter to win your very own copy of this book!

Contest runs from Monday August 30 through Thursday September 2nd and is open to people who live in the U.S. only. A random number generator will be used to pick the four winners. Winners will be announced on Friday September 3rd. Remember, you must enter a separate comment on this blog post for EACH separate entry!

Adventure #1: Creative Comments
This one's easy! All you have to do is follow A New Breed of Mom with Google Friend Connect and then comment on this post and tell me why you MUST have your own copy of Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure to read to your kids. Be creative with your comments! You can continue to come back and add one comment per day for additional entries! Easy, right?!

Adventure #2: All Things Facebook
Like Masters Books on Facebook and comment on their page that you want to win your very own copy of  Charlie and Trike in the Grand Canyon Adventure from A New Breed of Mom! Then comment here to tell me you did!

You can gain another entry by Liking A New Breed of Mom on Facebook, commenting on my page to tell me you want to win, and then commenting here to tell me you did!

Adventure #3: All Things Twitter
Follow me on Twitter and Tweet this: "I want to win a #C&Trike book from A New Breed of Mom! You can win too!" You can tweet up to three times per day - just remember to come back and comment on this post for each entry!

Advetnure #4: Find Charlie and Trike
Each day the Charlie and Trike blog button will be displayed at a different spot on the home page of A New Breed of Mom with a different caption. Find the blog button and comment here listing what the caption says for that day.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

My Second Grader

Today my little boy starts 2nd grade! 

This morning I got my little man up, dressed, and fed him a good breakfast. Well, cereal, but that counts, right? Then it was off to the bus stop. Doesn't he look handsome? I am so proud of him! He has grown up into such a polite, kind, and respectful little man. 

It's hard for me to believe he is eight years old. It seems like yesterday he was just a little tiny baby that I would cuddle and rock. I love that kid so very much!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Crazy Morning

Today is not my day! It's only noon and this morning has been a string of mishaps! Let's see... I had to drive to the other side of town to a blood test before work, got to work only to realize that I forgot that I had a training scheduled in a different building today, and then I got hit by some asshole in the effing parking garage just to have him try to say it was my fault!!

Let's start from the beginning...

This morning I got up extra early to drive to the other side of town to go to my doctor's office for a blood draw. We've been doing fertility shots this month and they have to monitor my hormone levels. This blood draw today was especially important because the levels will let the doctors know if the shots worked to help me achieve ovulation. I won't get the results until tomorrow, and I am praying they are good results. Bad results would me that I didn't ovulate and there's NO chance of my being pregnant. Good results mean I have to wait at least 10 days to take a pregnancy test. 

Although I arrived at the lab five minutes early there were still FIVE people ahead of me! Geesh! Next time I will have to be 15 minutes early! So I sat there and waited my turn. The plan was to get the blood draw over with and still make it to work by 8:30. Even though I had to wait a little while, I was still ahead of schedule and could get to work by 8:15! So I'm driving to work and I call call hubs, who was taking Riley to the babysitter. We start talking and I totally miss my exit! Ugh. It was 8:30 when I finally got to my office.

As I was walking in I passed a co-worker leaving the office. I asked her where she was going and she told me she had training at 9 o'clock in a different building. Shit! That reminded me I was also scheduled for the same training. How in the world did I manage to forget that?! I decided that I was lucky because if I wouldn't have missed my exit then I would have just when to my cubicle and went on about my business and I would have missed my training.

I turned around and headed out to the parking garage. (Cue the horror film music) As I got to my car I saw I missed a call from my sister so I call her back and start winding down the floors. It's a lot of winding down because I park on the roof of the garage - it's less expensive that way. As I got to about the 4th floor I was turning left to wind down to the 3rd floor. As I was straightening out my car to prepare for a left turn, I saw this other car was turning wide so I hit my brakes - I was only going 10 MPH to begin with - and stopped my car so the other vehicle could stop and adjust to avoiding hitting me. Then, I watch awestruck as the car drives right into my drivers side door!  

Now, I was in a hurry to get to this 9 am training. We pull off to a couple of empty parking spots and I get out to access the damage. There was damage, but my car was drivable. I tell the guy, "Let's just exchange information since it was obviously your fault and move on with it." Then, the asshole, as I will call him from here on out, looks at me and says in a gruff voice, "Well, that's debatable. You were talking on your cell phone."

OMG! Are you kidding me?! Seriously, I sat there, my vehicle stopped, and watch you drive right into me, and you have the audacity to say it was my fault?! Seriously?! I was pissed.

Fine. You wanna play that way? Fine. So I say, "Fine then, if you want to be that way about it we can waste both of our time and call the police to file an accident report." Well, apparently the city PD will not come to you to create an accident report if it was on private property. We would have to print a report from their website and take it to the department. Fine. At this point I was shaken. Crying. How dare that asshole say it was my fault?! 

Then I realized I didn't have a pen. Now I have to ask him to borrow a pen to write my information down. Eff me. (Ma, if you're reading this, sorry for the language). I call my husband, desperately needing his calm cool collected take on this situation. Voice mail. Effers! I get out and the asshole hand me a tiny piece of paper - presumably with his information. Sobbing like and idiot, I ask him to borrow his pen. Then I look at the paper he handed me. It ONLY had his phone number and insurance company name on it. No policy number. No address. Oh, and we have the same insurance company. Nice. That means they'll probably make us both pay for our own damage.

So I tell the guy asshole that I want his policy number. Then I write down his license plate number, as the make and model of his car, write that down, and then I called my insurance agent. In the mean time, I am holding both pieces of paper and his pen hostage. My insurance company said to get his home address too. And to take pictures. So I did both. As I hang up from the insurance agent the asshole tells me he is calling his agent too and will give me his policy number. Well la-di-da-da. Good for you. Asshole.

Then hubs calls and I start crying as I rehash the whole dramatic story. Why am I crying over something so stupid? Talking to John calmed me down, just like I knew it would. I was fine. Until I had to face the jerk to give him back his pen. Then I started crying again. Very embarrassing.

At this point I was late for the training, and if you're more than 15 mintues late you don't get the CEU's so it's not worth even going. But I did not have it in me to go back to work so I called my boss (my voice only crackled a little) and told him I was in an accident and asked for the day off. He said that was fine so I headed home.  

Just talked to claims adjuster and found out that the jerk asshole didn't give me a valid policy number. It was missing a digit. Hopefully it was an honest mistake... yeah, right.

This morning has gotten off to a crappy start, to say the least. But, been the positive person that I am - here is what is good about this situation. I wasn't hurt. I have the day off now. I get to spend Riley's last day of summer vacation with him. The police station is close to my place of employment so I can easily walk over there tomorrow to file the accident report. It gave me something to blog about. I can take a nap this afternoon. And tomorrow's another day!

What's Your Homework Policy?

My boys start back to school this week! Our district has a policy of a "staggered start" which means each of the boys will only go to school one day this week, but next week we'll be back in the full swing of things. And that means homework.

My boys are so different when it comes to academics and their learning styles. Riley usually catches on pretty quickly when it comes to math, but Khegan takes a little longer. Khegan is very good at writing creative stories. Riley struggles a little bit with keeping his handwriting neat. Khegan is patient and will listen when you are trying to help him. Riley (not unlike his mother) gets frustrated very easily when he doesn't pick stuff up right away.

All of these differences play out at homework time. Khegan is very slow in completing his homework, while Riley tends to zip right through it. Last year it was quite challenging to be done with homework before 9 o'clock. By the time I get off work, fought down town traffic and picked up the kids from the sitter, we don't get home until almost 6 o'clock. John gets home later than that. Once home, I have to get myself organized and then start dinner.

This is how our routine would go. Riley would zip through his math worksheet and go off to play. I would continue to work with Khegan on his math and spelling while also cooking dinner. Then we would break from homework to eat. Then John would take over finishing up the math and spelling with Khegan while I'd clean up dinner. Then we would each grab a kid and sit down to listen to them read for 20 minutes. Somewhere in there we managed to squeeze in a nightly shower for each kiddo.

It was tough - especially on nights when they had ball practice.

This year the routine is going to have to be different. It's too exhausting (for the boys & for us) to be doing homework for so long and until so late. The plan is to have them do all there homework, except for reading, at the babysitters house. School gets out at 2:30 so they have a good three hours before I get there to pick them up. Then when we get home, I will review the home work with them and redo the problems they missed. Then all that is left is their reading. Instead of having them read to me for 20 minutes, I will have them read to me for 10 and then read to themselves for the other 10 and give me a short oral "book report".

Hopefully this new homework routine will give us a little more free time in the evenings!

What's your homework policy? Do you have your children do their homework as soon as they get home? Or, do you let them play a little bit first? Are they pretty independent in completing it? Or, do you have to help every step of the way? 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Marriage is a Partnership: Addressing a Distorted Marital Practice

Yesterday I read a very disturbing blog written by a married couple who practiced something referred to as "domestic discipline". This blog apparently went viral and is now a private blog.  For many reasons, I have not returned to the blog to verify that it is no longer a public blog, nor will I post the link to that blog from A New Breed of Mom. However, I do feel compelled to write a response to such a disturbing marital practice as well as explain my opinions of how a healthy marital relationship looks.

The concept referred to as "domestic discipline," basically consists of the wife being subservient to the husband and the husband having permission to "punish" he wife by spanking her like a child, put her in the corner, ground her, etc. like she was a child. The "spanking" is really domestic violence - the husband beating the wife until her backside was black and blue. It's a disgusting practice, which only tries to glorify domestic violence. What is even more disturbing was that when I Googled "domestic discipline" one of the first sites that came up was a Christian Domestic Discipline site.

Obviously, for anyone who is Christian, beating your wife is NOT a Christian practice. Beating your wife is called domestic violence. Domestic Violence (in my own definition, click link to see Wikipedia definition) is abusive behavior towards one's spouse, significant other, or family member who resides in the same home. Domestic violence includes physical aggression, extreme verbal aggression, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and controlling behavior. In a DV relationship there is a predictable cycle of violence. There are also a variety of different types of domestic violence. On average, it takes a DV victim seven attempts before they successfully leave the relationships. Relationships involving abuse of any kind are NOT healthy, and despite what the abusive partner may say, they are not the norm.

A healthy marital relationship is a partnership in which two consenting adults vow to love and cherish each other til death do they part. The husband and wife are a team. They take care of each other. They discuss big decisions with each other and do not make a final decision until they are both in agreement. They compromise. If something is very important to one spouse, the other spouse may give in or let that spouse have his or her way. This kind of give-and-take goes both ways in a marital relationship. The married couple asks as one solidified unit, not two individuals fighting against each other. At the heart of healthy marriages is a deep, underlying friendship.

Through a marital partnership the couple relationship becomes central to the family unit - whether that family unit is a nuclear family or a stepfamily. In a two parent family, the couple is the heart of the family and makes decisions that affect the well being of everyone involved. I know that not all marriages last forever. I know that not all families are two parent families. Families come in many shapes and sizes. However, if you are married it is important to strive to make your marriage work. It is important to work towards a marital partnership. The couple's relationship is the most significant relationship model their children will experience. Let's teach our children that marriage is a partnership based upon friendship. Let's teach them that marriage is a 'safe' relationship based on mutual respect. Let's teach them how to handle conflict in a healthy manner.

I love comments. I know this could be a heated topic for some people, but I would love to know what you think are the most important ingredients in a healthy marriage?

Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
For Your Marriage

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School Anxiety

My boys start back to school this week. Last week they were both very excited. Khegan is still very excited. Riley? Not so much. This week Riley has started to get more and more nervous about going back to school. Sunday night he had a meltdown at bedtime because he had himself so worked up about going back to school.

"Mommy, I'm never going to see you anymore!" That's not true. His day won't be any longer than what it has been all summer. He will go to babysitter after school and I will pick him up at 5:40 - just like I do every single night. So I explained that to him.

"But mommy, I have bad handwriting! Mrs. Krueser is going to make me do my work over and over again. Or, if I write slow(ly) I will always be the last one done!" He is sobbing as he says this. I told him that he needs to slow down so his hand writing is more neat. Yes, that is what Mrs. Donohue said over and over in 1st grade. I reminded him that he got nothing but good grades last year and the Mrs. Krueser (Khegan had her last year) is a very nice teacher. Also, I pointed out that even if he is never has the neatest handwriting, he will never have the worst either.

"Mommy, what if none of my friends are in my class?" I explained to him that he would have some kids in his class that he knows from last year, but would meet some new friends too.

"But mommy, 2nd grade has recess with 1st grade so I will never see my brother or my friend Zane (neighbor boy) during recess!" I told him he would have plenty of time to play with Khegan and Zane after school.

I thought the anxiety would die down after the Meet n Greet on Monday night, but it only seemed to make things worse. Riley has always been a "slow to warm up" kinda kid. However, once he warmed up all bets were off! He is then super outgoing, if not bossy, and is very charismatic - all the other kids want to be his friend. So it amazes me how he has this anxiety every year before school starts. 

Every time he gets anxious I do what I've been trained to do, as a social worker, to help dispell the anxiety. I address his fears and explain why they are irrational. We talk about ways for him to make new friends. (Which he usually does very easily once he warms up.) He has been to the school. He has met his teacher. He has seen his classroom. He knows how his day will go. I've encouraged him by pointing out that he is smart and cute and funny and kids like him. Still, it does not seem to be doing the trick.  

Have your kids ever had back to school anxiety? If so how have you helped them to overcome it?

Here is a great article I found on Ease Back to School Anxiety and how to help calm your child's fears.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Cherry Valley Lodge and CocoKey Water Resort

Last weekend my family went on a little getaway to Cherry Valley Lodge and Coco Key Water Resort in Newark, Ohio. This fun-filled destination is a mere forty-five from Columbus, Ohio. It's a great place for families in Ohio to take a "state-vacation" or just to get away for a long weekend. My family had a fabulous time.

The boys loved Coco Key Resort, an indoor water park. When we arrived to the resort on Saturday it was raining, but no fear because we were inside! There are three different water slides, a lazy river, a lilly pad hop, a water basketball area, and two different kids play areas. The locker rooms were impressively stocked and clean considering the amount of families in the water park. There are lockers in the water park where you can easily stash your purse or clothing. Also towels are provided to the guests. There is a bar area within the water park where parents can sit and have a cocktail while still keeping an eye on their children. There is also a Pizza Hut Express right at the water park area for your convenience.

The arcade, which is right across the hall from the water park area, was a big hit with my boys! The rooms were lovely. We stayed in a Courtyard Suite. It had a main room with both a living and dining room area, a separate bedroom with a king size bed, a bathroom, and a balcony. The balcony overlooks the botanical gardens and it was a gorgeous view. Room service was available as well.

For a complete list of accommodations at Cherry Valley Lodge and Coco Key Water Resort click here.

The best part is that Cherry Valley Lodge and Coco Key Water Resort is offering a special discounted rate to my readers for this upcoming weekend of August 28th and 29th! For $99 you will receive an overnight stay, four 2-day water park tickets, 2 $10 arcade cards, and a pizza dinner for a family of four! This is a great deal so don't miss out - you can schedule online today!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dear John: Our Wedding Day

Part III: Our Wedding Day

Dear John,

One year ago today we said, "I do." In front of God, our family, and our friends we promised to love each other for the rest of our lives - 'till death do us part. That is a promise I hold near and dear to my heart. That is a promise I intend to keep.

Our wedding day was like a dream. We didn't see each other until I was walking down the isle to marry you. After spending hours on hair and make-up, I took one look at you standing at the alter and burst into tears of joy. My grandpa cried as he walked me down the isle. I was so overcome with emotion, I could barely say my vows.

The ceremony was very short for a Catholic Wedding. Father John zipped right through the mass. Father was so efficient, in fact, that we had to wait on the limo. Our guests headed off towards the reception and there the wedding party sat, at the church, waiting on the limo.

Our reception was perfect. Everything had been planned out right to the last little detail. There were no problems that arose, proving once and for all that I was not "Bridezilla". The toasts were just the right mixture of heart felt words and humor. Do you remember how red I got when my mom ended her toast with, "Thank God for" We had a great DJ and a great mixture of music. Our wedding song was Shania Twain, From This Moment On. I remember that song came on the radio one day as I was driving to work and I knew that song was perfect for us. And do you remember Khegan dancing to "Move it - Move it"? He was such a ham.

Our wedding day was the most important day of my life. It was over very quickly and before we knew it we were on a plane to Jamaica. I've relived that day in my mind a thousand times. I felt like a princess. It was my special day and you were my prince. And you still are. I love you.

Always and Forever,


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dear John: An Overview of Our First Year

Part II: An Overview of Our First Year

Dear John,

Yay! We made it! We survived our first year of marriage! We've accomplished so much together over this last year. We make a great team. I am so happy and proud to be your wife. Here are some of the things I am most proud of accomplishing over our first year of marriage.

Over the last year we have created a family. When we met you were a single dad raising a little boy and I was a single mom raising a little boy. Our little boys were the same age. We were each living the same life, but separately. We worked. We took care of our child. Then the day came we fell in love. And now here we are, one year after our wedding day, living the same life together. Raising our boys, together.

We have made our house a home. Six months before we said "I do" we bought this house. Over the last year we have made our house a home. We have shared together, laughed together, cried together, and prayed together in this house. We have helped our boys with their homework, hosted birthday parties, shared Thanksgiving dinner, and shared our first Christmas as a married couple in this house. Our home.

We have struggled with infertility. From the day you asked me to marry you, there was nothing I wanted more than to have a child together. We both love children and love being parents. That is a common bond that helped bring us together. After our wedding we were ready to grow our family. That didn't happen. And here we are a year later. A year filled with hope and disappointment. A year filled with Clomid and emotional turmoil and shots and a fertility doctor. As our one year anniversary approaches, we are hoping this month will be "the" month. Even if it's not, we will continue on this journey together.

Today, as our first year as husband and wife comes to an end, I love you more than ever. I'm confident that our love will grow and grow over the years. I will cherish every minute.

I love you.

Your Wife

** Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, "Dear John: Our Wedding Day". **

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Dear John Letters: Pre-Wedding Preparations

Part I: Pre-Wedding Preparations
 Dear John,

Sunday is our one year anniversary. It will be our first of many.

This time last year I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off doing last minute wedding preparations. I was packing for our honeymoon, greeting an out of town bridesmaid, and organizing all of the miscellaneous wedding supplies into boxes labeled "church" and "reception".

Last year this date, August 20, 2009, was a Thursday. We went to the Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe for a pre-rehearsal dinner, dinner. The service was poor and you're one buddy from South Carolina (ya know, the one that wanted to have dinner at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe to begin with?), he was late. Like very late. Like he did NOT show up at the dinner at all. He was too busy with his new girlfriend who just moved back to Ohio. Remember, later that evening they came to our house? He ignored me and talked to you while his girlfriend hung all over him. Good thing my friend Maren was there to keep me calm. But, really I am glad we did go to the Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe for that pre- rehearsal dinner, dinner - because they have since closed their doors forever.

Then, tomorrow, is the anniversary of the day of pre-wedding preparations that had me in a tizzy. Do you remember how we did not get your passport until the day before we said "I do"? Do you remember we had to call our congressman in order to get it on time? I spent August 21, 2009 at the nail salon, reception venue setting up, stopping at the bank, organizing the bridal party and parent gifts for the rehearsal dinner, picking up the groom's cake, and getting dressed up for the rehearsal dinner. You held down the fort at home with the boys.

Our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner went off without a hitch. We kept it simple. Pizza, salad, wine, and beer at the Pinnacle Club - on the balcony overlooking the 9th green. We welcomed everyone and you gave a little speech thanking my mom and step dad for their contribution to our wedding. The block "O" grooms cake made of chocolate ganache. The bridal party gifts - money clips for the groomsmen and jewelry for the bridesmaids. Our friends. Our family. All together. It was a wonderful, beautiful, evening.

Those were a busy couple of days! The night before our wedding I slept at the hotel with the girls and you stayed at our house with our boys. I can remember being exhausted and excited and anxious all at the same time. For the next day I would marry the love of my life. That is a day I will never forget.

Love, Your Wife,


** Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, "Dear John:  An overview of Our First Year" which is to be followed up by Sunday's post, "Dear John: Our Wedding Day". **

Two Week Wait

Today starts my two week wait. Two more weeks before I will know if the Follistim worked. Two more weeks before I will find out whether this month is THE month. Will I have a BFP (big fat positive) or BFN (big fat negative) when I POAS (pee on a stick) in two weeks?

This TWW is going to be torture! I've endured a year full of TWW's. Actually probably about 8 or 9 of them over the last year b/c when you have PCOS your periods are not a regular 28 days. Anyways, every month it was the same... I'd get so excited. I'd start imagining that I was having pregnancy symptoms. I knew that month was THE month. Only, it wasn't.

This month it's different. This cycle we worked with a fertility doctor. This cycle we took fertility shots. This cycle IS different. This cycle I took a shot that MADE me ovulate. The rest of it - easy. The reason we have not fallen preggers is just b/c I was not ovulating. So... this month - has to be THE month.

I'm afraid to get my hopes up.

Yet I am trying to think positive. 

And it is SO easy to get your hopes up. I've started taking over the counter pre-natal vitamins again. I've been drinking a lot of water. I'm starting to limit my caffeine intake. I'm doing all the "right" things to make sure that if I did 'O' that this month will be a success.

The TWW is hard.

NYM Brand Giveaway Winner

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Thanks to my sponsor Not Your Mother's Brand! Find them on Twitter @NYMBrands

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today I Had to Tell My Son There is No Tooth Fairy

This morning I traumatized my eight year old son. I need to throw some more money in his therapy fund. He will be telling this story for years to come.

Last Tuesday evening Riley lost another tooth. Wednesday morning he says, "The tooth fairy didn't come!"


"She didn't come? Did you put your tooth under your pillow?"

"No. I forgot. I left it on the kitchen counter."

Sigh of relief. "Well that's why silly! Put it under your pillow tonight and she'll come. I promise."

This morning I get up, take my shower, and go to wake up Riley. I nudge him awake and walk downstairs to turn on the coffee pot. (Coffee is VERY important in my house!) When I get back upstairs he is sitting on the bed crying.

"What's wrong honey?!" I ask.

"The Tooth Fairy HATES me!!!!!"

Shit. Shit. SHIT! 

"She took my tooth, and didn't leave me any money! She hates my teeth!"

I took a deep breath and sat down next to him on the bed. Do I tell him? Or, do I not? As I looked at my crying child I knew I had no choice. Better he hate me than think some imaginary fairy hates him.

"Riley, honey, it was mommy who forgot to leave you money."

He sniffles and stares up at me. And grunts.

"Mommies and daddies leave tooth fairy money to help little kids have courage when they lose their teeth."


"Yes. Mommy is sorry."

"Khegan was.... was... right! You LIED!"

Yes, my stepson Khegan (who's 5 weeks younger than Riley) has been saying for weeks that his mommy was the Tooth Fairy. He saw her sneak into his room and get out her wallet.

At our house we denied this rumor and cursed his mother for being such an idiot. And Riley believed us. Khegan we almost had convinced. I can only imagine the secretive talks those two boys are having right now about how I lied.

No tooth fairy.

"Riley, it's not really a lie. It's an... incentive. An incentive to help you be brave enough to pull out your teeth."

He grunts and sniffles and starts to get dressed.

I thought it was over. I had succeeded. That wasn't too bad...

A few minutes later, down in the kitchen he is still grunting. No words.

"Riley, what's wrong? Are you mad at mom?"

He bursts into tears.


"Riley, it's ok. It is really ok. Now, don't you smile at mommy. Don't you laugh...."

He stifles a grin before he starts grunting and sniffling and crying again.

"Riley, don't laugh! Don't even think about laughing at mommy! And whatever you do, don't kiss me..."


"Don't laugh because... because... Because if you do I'll have to give you $10!"

He laughed.

And kissed me.

And it only cost $10.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Twitter 101

Tweet much? If you do, then this post is for you! Whether you are new to Twitter or a veteran Tweeter, there are some common courtesies you should be aware of whenever you are interacting with folks in the Twitterverse.

Today I did my research for this blog post by asking my Tweeps about their biggest #PetPeeve when it comes to #TwitterEtiquette. Before I reveal to you the biggest Twitter faux pas that people commonly make, I will review some #TwitterBasics, #TwitterTerms, and #TwitterTools that you will find most helpful.


# = Hashtag Use this to identify and search for special topics
RT = Retweet Your Tweets repeated by others
140 = The max number of characters in a Tweet  
            (hint: use less than 140 so ppl can RT)
@ = Mention - One of your Tweeples is tweeting at you!  
           (hint: no space after @ ie. @NewBreedMama)
*italics* = Use the * symbol before and after a word for emphasis, OR
                   to symbolize action *blushing*
::Hugs:: = Expression of love and support

#TwitterTerms (and commonly used lingo)
MM = Mention Monday #MM
FF = Follow Friday #FF
Wordless Wednesday = Specific to Mommy Bloggers >> Post with Pic Only
Thx4RT! = Thank you for the retweet
WOOT! = Hooray, Yippee, Yahoo
SQUEE = How exciting or "Look at me! I'm a cheerleader!" Lol - you get the picture
LOL = Laughing out loud. If you don't know that one, we may have a wee problem... #JustSayin
LMAO = Laughing my ass off!
ROTFLMAO = Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off!
Shout Out = Acknowledging someone  (ie. Here's a shout out to @MaryBeauty for giving me the idea for this post!)


HooteSuite & TweetDeck = Apps to help you tweet more efficiently
Qwitter = Find out who "unfollowed" you
Friend or Follow = Find out if your followers follow back

Lists = Make Lists for ppl you follow the most 

Random Helpful Hint: Those links at the bottom of a tweet - they help you follow the conversation.

That's just some basic information to help you get started with Twitter. Keep in mind that when tweeting in 140 character phrases everything is in shorthand. :) And emoticons are used A LOT. =) If you don't know what something means, feel free to ask. Your tweeples will help you out! My best advice for getting more followers is to join the conversation!!

And with no further ado...

#TwitterEtiquette and #PetPeeves (Faux pas you don't want to make!)

If someone @'s you, do NOT ignore them. I mean, we all know that it can be easy to overlook a tweet here or there, but to CONSTANTLY ignore someone tweeting directly at you - SO not cool. Especially, ESPECIALLY if you tweet with them often!

If you tweet with someone regularly, follow them. Don't be a #TwitterSnob. Nuff said.

Tweet more than just links!! Ok so maybe around 30-40% of your tweets can be links to your site, other sites, you blog, etc. But if ALL you tweet is links, you'll get unfollowed quicker than you can say #FollowFriday.

No spamming! No one wants to follow a spammer.

Auto DM's from TrueTwit... Annoying a hell.

Auto DM's are ANNOYING!! Period. Especially if they are self-promoting links.

Be original! If ALL or MOST of your tweets are RTs no one will pay attention. If you continue to rephrase the same tweets over and over again, BORING!

Follow Back Y'all!! If you create a Twitter Follow Linky, then follow the people that link up, k?

Keep private information private. Common sense people! No weird sex talk, etc. That is the CORRECT use for DMs #WeirdSexTalk.

Don't be an ASSHOLE. Be polite. Be courteous. Be respectful. Once you tweet, it's out there.

Paid Tweets! Ok, I can see the temptation in this. Actually, I am guilty of Sponsored Tweeting (I even have a button on my blog *puts head down*) BUT if ALL of your tweets are SPONSORED - who is going to want to follow you? Really?

Twitter is a fun social networking tool. Just tweet with care & avoid these common faux pas to make the most out of your tweets. And don't forget to HAVE FUN!!

Would love to know your thoughts! Was this article helpful? Did I miss any of your #PetPeeves? Comment below and join the conversation. While you are here, I would love it if you'd take time to follow my blog with GFC and to Follow me on Twitter @NewBreedMama.