Death by Cartwheel…My Cruel Dose of Reality

As summer winds down, changes have been slowly settling in for me. As a family, we've been trying to enjoy the warm days outdoors. Recently we found ourselves at a state park with a fishing pond and large, lush-grassy area perfect for gymnastics. (Because hard as we try, we just don't have "lush-grassy areas" at our house.) So my 9 year old was playing one of the things she loves to play best: gymnastics, on that inviting lawn. Overcome by a spirit of whimsy, I felt the need to join her... and spontaneously launched into a cartwheel. A little background. I used to be able to do cartwheels effortlessly. But it's been a long, long time since I tried to engage in one, and I have a bad hip from a horse injury long ago.   So although I executed my cartwheel nearly flawlessly… it almost killed me. To the tune of a sharp burst of pain in my leg and hip, and a sickening “POP!!” sound. Holy painful, Batman! Subsequent googling on my phone came up with a diagnosis that matched … [Read more...]

Spy Escape ~ Safety & Survival Live Training in Denver, CO [50% Discount Code]

Former CIA Officer Jason Hanson has gathered his best safety and survival tips, and is offering to teach them to you and your loved ones.  The founder of Spy Escape, Jason will be hosting a live seminar featuring his safety and survival training in Denver, Colorado. Being safe in today's world continues to be an ever growing concern.  Threats range from everyday crime and violence, to trying to avoid identify theft, to keeping your family safe while traveling.  Because of this fact, this training really caught my interest and attention. Jason Hanson has received extremely valuable CIA training in his past, has culled the best and most relevant tactics for families to be aware of, and is offering to train you in a relaxed and fun environment – no intimidating, military style. As seen on both Shark Tank and the Rachel Ray Show, Jason Hanson is using his Spy Escape and Evasion seminar to reveal safety and survival secrets that 99% of Americans will never know.  These secrets … [Read more...]

Taking Back My Home (Re-Embracing My Inner Neat Freak…)

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee... *perpetually messy house*!"  I believe I've officially reached my breaking point with my never tidy house.   For the sake of my sanity, I've decided that it's time I take back my home! I know certain things about myself, like the fact that I lean towards being a perfectionist, and harbor neat freak tendencies.  But I didn't want my kids to grow up in fear of their mom's obsessive compulsive need to have everything exactly in its precise place, at all times. So around the time when our children entered the scene, I slowly but deliberately let go of any presumptions of being house proud.  "It's no longer realistic, nor practical", I told myself.  "To be a Good Mom, you need to be more laid back, and not care about things like the house being a disaster.  That's just your family's life happening around you." These are the things I'd try and reassure myself with.  And yet recently I've found my nerves more and more frayed by … [Read more...]

Huggies MomInspired $15,000 Grant for Entrepreneurs

Just wanted to pass along this cool opportunity to my readers!  Do any of you have one of those great ideas for an innovative business or product, that just needs a little starter money?   Huggies will be selecting up to 12 people to be awarded a $15,000 grant, to use towards pursuing their idea which will "make parents lives easier".   I love this! Note that this program is NOT limited to moms, or even women.  Here are the details on how to apply, and to those who do...  GREAT JOB!  I wish you all the best! *o*     *o*     *o* Huggies MomInspired Grant Program is conducting their annual search for Best New Products Inspired by Parents and Babies. Is your little bundle of joy your greatest source of inspiration? Huggies is encouraging innovative parents to apply for the Huggies® MomInspired® Grant Program. The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program – now in its fourth year – is here to help turn those dreams into a reality. Applications are being accepted at … [Read more...]

Exasperating Conversations With My 2nd Grader

So I picked my 2nd grader up from the school the other day, and this is the conversation we had on the way home... *o*     *o*     *o* Daughter (accusingly):  Mom, why didn't you name me "Sage"? Me:  Because it wasn't my favorite name, at the time.  It's a pretty name, though. Daughter:  So why couldn't you have just named me "Sage"? Me:  Because I never even thought of the name "Sage" when I was picking baby names.  There's a lot of good girl names out there. Daughter:  But I love the name "Sage"! Me:  We have some friends in South Dakota who named their baby girl "Sage". Daughter:  (She is neither impressed, nor deterred, by my little anecdote)  Why didn't you name me "Sage"? Me:  How could I possibly know, when you were born 8 years ago, that one day when you were in the 2nd grade, you'd hear the name "Sage" and decide that's what you wanted to be called? Daughter:  (Processes this logic.  It actually sinks in.  Moves on to another angle.)  Well, can you … [Read more...]

Taylor Swift’s RED ~ Mom Approved Music

As I paid for my pound of espresso beans at the Starbucks store counter, one of the four "these are the current cool CD's" albums propped up by the cash register caught my eye. Lo and behold, the very next day I had that very same CD in my mailbox - sent by a little PR birdie at Big Machine Records (which is apparently Taylor's record label company).   What a delightful coincidence.  Curiosity soon to be satisfied, I popped it right in and gave it a listen. Now, County Music isn't my first choice, but I'm sure you all realize Taylor Swift has crossed over to the Pop genre as well.  A light-hearted album that's pleasant and easy to listen to, I liked it right away.  But that's not why I love it. Taylor Swift RED ~ Mom Approved, No Censoring Needed What I love about the Taylor Swift RED album, is that it's clean and innocent enough for my young, music loving daughter to take into her room, put on her CD player, and dance and sing away to her little heart's content.  In a day and … [Read more...]

Traveling Without Your Kids

With our impending 10th Wedding Anniversary just around the corner, I've been in full travel dreaming-and-planning mode.  As part of our celebration, my husband and I plan to take advantage of my parents offer to stay with our two kids, ages 2 and 7, and take our first trip sans-kiddos, since having kids. Traveling Without Kids - Should You Feel Guilty? We have friends who have traveled without their kids starting when the children were quite young, who appear to do so regularly, effortlessly, and seemingly without guilt or any second thoughts whatsoever.   In the spirit of brutal blogging honesty, I will tell you that I find myself judging them for this, just a bit. But when I dig a little deeper... I know that it's primarily stemming from my own jealousy.  Partial jealousy of their circumstances which enable them to do so, but also jealousy that they can pull this off emotionally. Because of my own excessive, typically daily guilt which I feel as a grown mom and wife (I … [Read more...]

Mom Needs a Getaway – Or Does She?

My kids are 2 and 7, and although the center of my world, and as delightful as they both are ... I get pushed to the point of needing a break from them. I see stay at home moms with four children, who keep it together seamlessly day after day with a sane, satisfied smile on their face.  I'm not that mom. Perhaps it's because I spent over a decade living alone and being an independent single girl with access to lots of quiet time.  Or perhaps it's simply because my nerves aren't always resilient enough to withstand the incessant take-take-take, gimme-gimme-gimme, I want-I want-I want which two little ones can generate.  Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom very much.  It's just a really big job. So when I recently had a frivolous opportunity to visit my best friend in Texas, alone - I took it.  It would be a fleeting, two night trip... but I hadn't seen her in 6 years, and the chance to do some mommy-free girl bonding was irresistable. This means I'd be traveling solo.  … [Read more...]

Little Brother to the Rescue

Brushing my 7 year old daughter’s long, fine, naturally curly hair each morning is easily the worst moment of the day. For us both. Add the rush of getting ready for school, and it only increases the adrenaline and adds an additional layer of stress (and therefore drama) to the scene. She prefers me to comb it out, versus her father. I remember the days of knots at the base of my neck, and how painful it can be to comb out long, tangled hair. So I douse her with de-tangle spray, and try to take my time. But tug too firmly just once, and she correspondingly kicks the drama up a notch and really starts to holler. There was even a stray tear out of her right eye on this particular morning. As her protests increased in intensity and volume, even her baby brother toddled in to the bathroom to investigate the ruckus. Natural empathy and an inborn tendency to imitate his older sibling combined in him, and he aligned himself next to this poor, tortured sister. He scrunched his … [Read more...]

Imagination Library ~ Free Monthly Book for Preschoolers

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library offers to help your preschooler start off on the right foot with a love of reading.  How?  By providing them with their own personal library, at no cost to you. Started in 1996, initially to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA, Dolly's vision was to foster a love of reading in young kids and their families.  Her idea was to mail a gift - a specially selected, high quality and age appropriate book - to kids once per month.   Her hope was that this would foster excitement about books.  She wanted every child to able to own their very own library, regardless of their family's income. Both of my children have benefited from the Imagination Library, and I can't say enough good things about this wonderful program!  I believe that a love for books and reading is a beautiful gift to pass on to our kids, and is something that will serve them well in life. The program has been a huge success, and has now spread throughout the … [Read more...]