Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Figureheads

Watchin' the show
My kids to shy to go on stage.

Good tunes

Good show, good times. The Figureheads are a positive Hip-Hop group for kids, listen here.
Thanks for visiting while you are here take a peek at my thoughts on School Fund-raising, from a different perspective.  Also anger issues?  I got em'.
This post was linked at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fury: Take Two

Fury: A Memoir

I was given the opportunity to review the book Fury: A Memoir by Koren Zailckas, author of the best-selling book Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood.  I seized the chance to be able to, not only to read Koren's story but to possibly have the inspiration to share my own.
A secret that I carried, and briefly wrote about here, is that I am an angry person.  I carry it with me everywhere I go.  I smile with the best of them, but deep down my blood boils.  Sometimes my anger causes me to lose my breath.  The room spins.  My anger turns into festering anxiety.  It's a vicious cycle.
I grew up in two households filled with leftover anger of divorce.   I do blame my parents as well as the circumstance.  I enjoyed the days of love and caring and happy picture perfect life.  And I prayed and lived in fear during the nights of yelling and rage filled disagreements. 
I know that I carry that with me.  I know when I spout off over a dirty dish or a sock on the floor, that it is never about that dirty dish or sock.  It is about something else.  Because I hold it in, the important things that need to be said that are never said.
And as much as my past lends itself to the anger I have today I know it is something I have to learn to control.  Anger in itself is not bad, it is an emotion that everyone has to face.  What truly matters is what you do with that anger, how you work to resolve it in a healthy way.  As I continue my journey I promise to write about it here.  One of the many thing's I took from Fury was that we should not shame our  anger, that is when we get ourselves in trouble.
Although Fury: A Memoir is not a cure all, or a self-help book, Koren's story, infused with real research and fact, lends itself as a starter to a path of understanding and acceptance.  If you are working on your anger issues and are ready to dive head first, I recommend reading Fury: A Memoir.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of Fury: A Memoir to read and review, no other compensation was given.  The thoughts and stories are my own.  Links to the Amazon site are a part of the Associate program, if you click on the link and purchase the book I get a very small %.

Monday, September 27, 2010

School Fundraising: Straight from the Horse's Mouth

School fund raising: it's about that time.
It is overwhelming.  I know I was in that corner with you, waving my fist in the air when another pizza/t-shirt/ magazine/candy/wrapping paper order form came home in my child's folder.  A roll of the eyes.  a glimpse of the form, pick out the cheapest thing, order and write a check out.  Been there.  Done that.  100 times.
Then, for reasons still being investigated by the crazy police, I took on the job of  Fund-raising coordinator for my daughter's school. 
Right?  I know.  It's like jumping without a parachute crazy.  CRAZY.
First thing I vowed  I would use my power for good.  I would not plug parents with a hundred fundraisers!!  One good fundraiser that is all the people want... maybe two but that's it.  I am putting my foot down.  I am standing up for the little people.  I will not surrender.  I will not be defeated.  VICTORY SHALL BE OURS!!!!!!!
Yeah well I didn't keep my vow.  I join the ranks of fair weather politicians.
My first real day on the job, parent orientation, I was surrounded.  "When are you doing this fundraiser?"  "And so-and-so school does this are we gonna do it too."  "Why aren't you doing that fundraiser it is so fun?"
WTF PEOPLE!!!! I thought you hated this shit??
So I listened and obliged.  I gave in.  I did what the people wanted.
And ended up doing up around 5 to 6 fundraisers.
Some might say that is not a lot, but for one person doing all the work, I was ALWAYS busy and then I still had people begging me to do more.
The truth.
Food fundraisers are the biggest and produce the most results.  Not the healthiest options, but people buy the stuff.  A lot of it.
A lot of fundraisers are courtesies.  They don't produce a ton of money but are services and discounts only certain organizations get to provide. Schools and organizations can offer you opportunities that the general public is not privy too, and they possibly can save you money.
If you saw.  If you knew.  If you could only imagine the number of fundraisers that pass by my mailbox.  Get suggested to me.  The sure number of pamphlets that meet the recycling bin.  You could built a forest.
The truth is you don't have to buy EVERY single fundraiser, That is why there is so many.  This one might not fill your needs but this one might.  You might not get anything out of selling pizzas, but a plant sale might be more your style.
Remember it is all for a good cause.  Sit back relax and enjoy!  Hey and you might even get a free pizza out of the deal, if you sell 10 pizzas and your entered into a drawing to win a.....
Sorry sometimes it's hard to turn off.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


~In an animated discussion, when is a discussion with me not animated?  Anyhoo I was going into a verbal diarrhea fit about neighbors and my keen observation of the burbs when my mom stated, "You know who you are?  You're Gladys Kravitiz!"   Don't know who that is?  Look it up.
And so what if  I am?  I am outside wrangling my kids everyday, it isn't hard for me to notice you in your bathrobe, getting the mail, at 2:30 P.M.  I'd be blind not to notice. 
Really Gladys was misunderstood.   Much like myself.
Cue the violins.

~I am getting pretty perturbed over the music choices lately.  Top 40 is a cesspool of sex and stupid choices.  Case in point:  I couldn't help but notice the lyrics in a song called "Take it Off" by Ke$ha...
"And now we lookin, like pimps  In my gold Trans-Am. Got a water bottle full of whiskey. In my handbag."
Okay I don't know if you have open container laws in your state, but we do.  And a water bottle filled with whiskey would be an open container.
What is this teaching our kids??
Whiskey is a brown liquor, easily noticed in a water bottle.  Now vodka or a certain translucent type of tequila would be a wiser choice to store in a clear container.
If you are going to influence my children to break the law, I rather you not be stupid about it.  Thank you very much Ke$ha.
Okay serious now.  Drinking and driving is as about as dumb as they come.  And although I get that the bottle is in her handbag, not in her mouth, it still is a horrid thing to sing about.  Especially since people still don't get that driving drunk KILLS PEOPLE EVERYDAY!!!

~Of course I realize the obvious here, that I am complaining about my kids music.   Nothing says "old" like complaining about your kids choice in music.
And gray hair.  I has one.  Right up front.  It's short.  And it sticks up.  I pluck it.  But it is a magic gray hair.  It comes back.  With a vengeance.  So I gave up the battle.
Gray hair is now my friend.
I call her Gladys.

~Talking about old, after complaining about certain womanly issues I was told I was peri-menopausal.   Excuse me while I go cry now.  Not because I am sad, I am just so god-damn hormonal.  I just don't know why I am crying, I just am.  What's it to you anyway?
How long will it take my husband to figure out that the best cure for a peri-menopausal woman is chocolate?  I think a pool is in order.  Any takers?

~I have a sick kid today.  I sense puke-detail.  Say a prayer for me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Today I kicked a laundry basket in frustration.   I think I muttered the words "GOD DAMN"- with probably a few more choice words added in for good measure.  For a second it felt good.
Okay lets be real, frustration that manifests itself out, into me kicking a laundry basket and cussing like a sailor on leave, is actually anger.
A spade is a spade.
Anger issues?  Yeah I got them.
I have been reading "Fury" by Koren Zailckas.
It is theraputic.  And true.  So So true.
Fury: A Memoir

More later.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Fury to preview.  The above is my own word and is true- My toe still hurts from kicking the laundry basket, that was piled high with crap.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stepped On

Today I stepped on today:
  1. A pony
  2. A high heel
  3. A hotwheel
  4. A bowl 
  5. A kitty
  6. A pile of Rice Krispies
  7. A shirt
  8. A Barbie
  9. A crayon
  10. A pencil
My house is a kiddie minefield.


When it was time to think about Meg's birthday gift, a few years back, I didn't have to give it much thought.  Meg had a infinite love for "The Wizard of Oz."  This love came from her Grandma, known to most as MiMi, more on that at a later date.
So anyhoo I had to scavenge the internet for cute Dorothy stuff.  Granted there is a lot of Oz memorabilia, it was hard finding age appropriate stuff. What I really wanted was a Dorothy Doll that Meg could love on and hold.
I found Nada.
That is until I was doing a little window shopping on Etsy.
I found a little shop called "Sugar and Spice" and fell in love with "Lydia." 
Lydia with a red bow and a gingham dress would be a perfect "Dorothy" so I messaged Christine, Sugar and Spice's owner, and made a request. She obliged....
Picture from Sugar and Spice.

Cute right? I have since purchased two more "Lydias" dolls for my nieces.
Now Christine has her very own blog and her very own giveaway.
Now I know telling you about this giveaway lessens my chances to win, but I just had to sing praises to this great Etsy store and this great Etsy store shop owner. 
Go check it out. 
If you purchase a doll I promise you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Name is Not Isabella

I don't make a point, as a mom, from hiding my daughter from the dreaded "Princesses" that come under fire a lot.  I get why people have their aversions from the knight and shiny armor, damsel in distress mentality that seem to plague these stories.  I allow my daughter to watch these movies.  She pretends she is a princess often enough.
But could you imagine how I beamed with pride, after watching one of those Princess movies, my darling daughter looked at me with displeasure and firmly announced, "THEY GOT MARRIED!?! YUCK, I HATE MARRIED!" 
Proud mommy moment.
I think as a mom it is all about balance.  Allow your children to have the fantasy but in turn share a reality.
My reality is that I want to shine positive female role models on my daughter.  That women can be strong independent thinkers, creators and activists.   It can be a hard sell.
It can be hard to find among the stacks of fairy tales.

Could you imagine my excitement when I was asked if I wanted a copy of  "My Name Is Not Isabella"

You haven't met Isabella yet??
Isabella is a little girl with big dreams. She spends her day pretending to be women of great character.
*Sally Ride
*Rosa Parks
*Annie Oakley
just to name a few.
Jennifer Fosberry, the author of "My Name Is Not Isabella" introduces these wonderful women to a young reader in the perfect way.  The pictures and story are a great jumping point to the small biographies, of each of the featured women, in the back of the book.
The most beautiful part of the story was when Isabella pretended to be "Mommy."  Embracing motherhood as a important job, right up there with doctor and astronaut, touched me deeply.
If you have a daughter, niece, granddaughter or a special little girl in your life "My Name Is Not Isabella" is the perfect gift.

Disclosure: I received a copy of "My Name is Not Isabella" and was given no further compensation. The thoughts and opinions are my own. All pictures and video were given to me by Sourcebooks Publicity.
All links to Amazon store are associate links and I get a very small percentage of the book sale from Amazon, not the books publisher.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

That Mom

Click to play this Smilebox collage
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So this weekend we were given a 4k homework assignment to talk about the day you were born and/or talk about what your name means.  See that up above?  That is what Meg and I created, then printed off an 8X10 at our local Wallie World, sans music`.  Cute right?  It was fun.  I cried a little over that cute baby face.  It's all good.
So we turned it it on Monday and the teachers OHH and Ahhed.  They asked me how I did it, I happily told them.  Smilebox...easy as making a PB&J.
Then after school I happen to notice some of the other kiddos picture and stories.  Cuties all.  But here is the thing- and in no way dissin' anyone- all the stories were handwritten on paper.
and I am like "Oh Crap"
I am "That Mom"
I am so fucked.
That. Is. All.

Timmy Time

Timmy Time is the newest cartoon to the Playhouse Disney line-up.  Isn't he a cutie?

If you think you have seen Timmy before you are correct, he can be seen with his friend Shaun the Sheep, both created by the great minds at Aardman Animation.  Timmy is leaving the flock and heading to preschool and Timmy Time shares his adventures.
I have my own little "Timmy" heading off to 4-K this year and all the wonderful things she has to learn Timmy has to learn too.  We watched Timmy as he had  to wait his turn and take turns, which we all know is a HARD for any preschooler.
What is different about Timmy Time is your little ones are learning through actions, as Timmy and his friends use there own natural animal sounds.  I have to admit my kids asked why there was no"real words??" They got over it real quick. Timmy is a great example that actions speak louder then words.
So wanna see Timmy in action?   Check him out on Playhouse Disney at 7/6c or check out his very own website, or his special Playhouse Disney page.

Disclosure: I was given preview copy of Timmy Time" and nothing else, no monetary compensation was given.  The opinions above are my own.

We Never Met

I never met my dad's mom.  No one really talks about her.  She has become this legend in my mind.  I create ideas of how I think she was and what she would be like if I knew her now.
The only picture I have seen is her standing by my young father.  She is beautiful, thin, in a formfitting dress, a thin line smile across her face. I look nothing like her, I have never been told I look like her.  No one really looks like her.  She is of her own person.
I have this feeling my grandma wasn't the motherly type.  When my dad does speak of her it is with some affection, but not that affection that speaks of bedtime stories and fresh bake chocolate chip cookies.  The affection is somewhat mysterious.  My grandmother was almost an enigma.
I think of my own troubling mother past and the possibility of what my grandmother was and I wonder if I try to hard.  Or I don't try hard enough.
And I am what my grandmother was.  Did she feel the same way as I do now?  What if being a mother doesn't come naturally?  What if it is learned?  A series of tests.  Trials and tribulations.  What if you weren't born to be a mother but you find yourself on this journey?  What if you didn't know the mothers and grandmothers before you? 
Your mothering litmus test.
 I see my grandmother as a story, a tragedy more then a fairy tale.  Some days I wish I had known her.  
And some days, like today, I am satisfied with the story.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I pray you'll be our eyes,
and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise,
in times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer,
when we lose our way
Lead us to the place,
guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe.

11 years together.
9 years: a prayer for peace.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


The question: If you could go back to before your first baby, what would you tell yourself:


Disclousure: This is a very smart marketing (or UNmarketing) video for Nummies.
I was not asked to post this video nor was I paid to post this video.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Teacher

Thanks to Rock and Drool for Twittering this video.

Last year, for first-grade, Nolan had one of those teachers, you know the one.  That one teacher who goes the extra step and then takes the next step and then another all for the love of teaching.
Her name: Mrs. R.
I love her beyond words and she loves my kid.  She hugs.  She laughs.  She cares. And when needed she is tough.  But a quiet tough, a tough that is so gentle and serene.  A toughness that reminds you that you are loved.
 I remember walking to her class a year ago, before Nolan's first day of first grade.  Turning the corner I saw one room decorated to the nines.  Monkey's hanging outside the door, branches and tree leaves filling the hall with joy.  Nolan laughed.  I silently begged that my kid would have that teacher.  It wasn't just monkeys, it was the idea that that teacher stayed longer to make her room inviting, she put a little more effort.

We saw that we were the lucky ones.  We walked into her room and into her arms.
The end of the school year came too quick.  It was so sad leaving our favorite teacher behind.  Would we be so lucky again?
On Nolan's first day this year he came home with an envelope in his backpack.  Inside the envelope was a picture of Nolan on his first day of first grade.  The note, from that great wonderful teacher, read: "Here is a picture of you on the 1st day of First Grade!  Happy 1st day of Second Grade!  Love Mrs. R"

To all the teachers who care and love and give their all..."THANK YOU!"  
Have a great school year! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fall T.V.

Ahh! Labor Day.
A sign of the fall leaves, pumpkins, fresh apples and cozy sweatshirts soon to come.  I am giddy with anticipation.
One of my favorite things about fall is neither apples nor the cozy sweatshirts, it is fall T.V.  All my returning shows.  New shows to get excited about.  I am so setting my DVR this year.
I dream of me, ass on couch.  Cozy sweatshirt on.  Fresh apple slices.  Glass of wine.  Enjoying the peace.  Being entertained.
So what am I looking forward to?
First for the new....
 I have had a secret schoolgirl crush on Josh Ritter ever since he was wheeling around in Joan of Arcadia.  He is sooo cute.  Like schoolboy cute and since it is a schoolgirl crush we are perfect for each other.
I am kind of excited to watch  Josh in The Event on NBC.  And it has Blair Underwood so that is all I am going to say about that. 
Okay really that is all for new shows.  Maybe I will catch Blue Bloods and No Ordinary Family but this year it is all about my old stand-bys.

Hello GLEE!
I am so so looking forward to a new season of Glee and praying it doesn't fall prey to the "Sophomore Slump."  I am guessing with a Britney Spears and Rocky Horror episode we might pass that slump right on by.

Next up Parenthood.  I know it is cheesy, I love the cheesy though.  Sometimes you need the cheese.  Cheese is good, especially with those fresh apple slices. nom. nom. nom.
I love Lauren Graham, in my eyes she can do no wrong.  And Hello Peter Krause.  Cutes.

But if I could only pick one show, If you held a gun to my head and told me "Susan, this year you can only pick one show to watch on T.V."  Hands down, no questions asked.  Please oh GOD I AM GOING TO BURST BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT ALL YEAR OH MY GOD PLEASE LET IT BE TOMORROW PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.....

Sons of Anarchy.  It is the greatest bandwagon I ever jumped on.  This show is beyond.  It takes network T.V, sits it down and takes a giant crap on it.  This show makes other shows hide in a corner, pee it pants and cry like little babies.  I am serious.  SERIOUS.  If you are not watching this show you should be ashamed of yourself.
Really a house-frau from the Midwest getting giddy over men on motorcycles??  Serious motorcycles scare the shit out of me, you will never see me on one of those things.  But there is something about this show. Something.Something that I can't quite put my finger on....
Well yeah that, but it is something more.  Something that transcends cute sexy men.  It's the story, the plot that hook you.  So good.  So.  Good.

So now I clued you in on my favorites, what new shows are you looking forward to?  What old ones got your panties in a bunch?  Share....

Disclosure:   I was neither paid nor asked to write about any of these shows, wine, apples or cheese.  I am just sharing my feelings for these shows, wine, apples and cheese out of pure love.  If you would like to send me wine, apples, cheese, Charlie Hunnam and then send my my husband  far-far away as gratitude for my glowing review it can be arranged.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are You Curious??

My Christmas is Fall T.V.
I wait all year for it.
I get giddy with anticipation.
Old traditions to look forward to.
And new things to be surprised by.
I am apart of the T.V. generation.
FALL T.V. Rules.
Soon I will go into more detail about what I love to watch when the kids are tucked into bed.
Today I am going to talk about one of my families favorite kid shows.
Yes I watch cartoons!
Mostly this little guy:
He is so cute.

He is everything I want my kids to be.
No, not a monkey.
Curious George is scheduled on our DVR.  George is one of those shows everyone, of any age, can agree on.
Funny and true story:
I was at one of my many meetings so the hubby was in charge of holding down the fort.  I came home and he made me re-watch an episode of Curious George because he, the 40+ year old man found it HILARIOUS.

So not long ago I was asked if I would like a screener of this seasons new episode of Curious George.
Yes. Please.  I will take one of those.

George is in his fifth season at PBS Kids and he is still curious.
George and his friend Marco need to find the perfect place for Marco's families Latin band to play.  Through their adventures they discover how sound travels and all about acoustics.
My kids are learning about acoustics.  Crazy talk.
George, Marco and the family band

It isn't just science my kids are learning about.  Watching George my kids learn about math and different cultures.  Curious George shows my children how to be curious about the world around them. I love that!

This Labor Day look for the new season of Curious George to start on PBS Kids and  look for more new episodes throughout the coming year!

**Disclaimer: I did receive an advance screener of Curious George's new season.  No other compensation was given to me. 
Curious George is part of Universal Family Productions  and  can be seen on your local PBS stations, check local listings for time and dates.
Also check out all the lovely Curious George books, by H.A. Rey from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.  Curious George books are also a family favorite, my families personal favorite:)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

First Day

First day of second grade for Nolan and Checkin' out 4k for Meg.
Meg doesn't officially start 4k till next week, but you tell a 4 year old she ain't startin' school for another week. Yeah, I didn't think so.
We were able to meet her teacher today so all was well.


I never knew much about my Grandfather's job.  I knew he was a police officer.  A Sergeant on the Chicago Police Force.  When he came ho...