Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who-Who Art aka Lady Landscaping

So I keep seeing this commercial.  Maybe you've seen in?  Lady gets out of a pool and a potted plant trims itself into a rectangle?  Another lady does something else (I don't remember what, didn't pay THAT much attention to it!) and some other potted plant trims itself into ball.  Then, yet another lady does something else (again, don't remember... nor care) and another plant turns into a triangle.  Thanks to this commercial, my hubby seems to think MOST women do this.  Thanks big time razor brand I won't mention here by name because you pissed me off.   Ok, so... how many actually DO that?!?!?  

*looks around to count hands, sees at least one and loses interest... fast*

Monday, June 27, 2011

Baby Pics. *poof* Gone! Crap.

The day I realized 98% of my son's baby pictures and my eldest daughters toddler years photos were gone for good, a little bit of me died.  That same day, I swore I dedicate my children's precious images to paper and get (what I had left and would create in the future) off my computer.

And I have. Now I have a bushel of photos I need to put in photo albums. Needless to say, they are still in the packs they came in.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Things Found in a Room - 2nd Edition!

That's right! It's back!!  Just as I threatened, wonderful goodies left behind by everyday people in rooms at local extended stay hotel!   I know you were just on the edge of your seat waiting this.  Wait. No. More.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Murphy Can Suck It!

Yesterday, my SO lost his job.  Well, more specifically, his contract was cut short due to financial short comings.   In other words, Cut Backs.  Down Sizing.  The recession strikes again!  Grrrrrr.  This, on the heals of us already struggling and falling slightly behind in order to celebrate June

Why?   Why did this have to happen now of all months?  Believe it or not, I have an answer for that.   Murphy's Law.  The law that states that anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong at the most inopportune moment.  The unwritten portion of that law states, if you are a member of the Murphy Clan (which I am), you might as well count on said crappy timing of bad tidings and use it to your advantage, because your inopportune moments will be plentiful.   Yippee.   Don't get me wrong, I love my Irish heritage and my Murphy side of the family but, I sooo could do with out the Curse! Law thing.

To add to the sting, today (June 23rd) marks the 11th year the love of my life and I have been together.  11 freakin' years ya'll!!!  That's HUGE in both our books!!  It's Monumental!!   *takes a minute to breath in the unbelievable victory sweet success of surviving achieving 11 years with out killing each other of coupled bliss*  Ah!!!  Smells good!  Well... except for that lingering Murphy stench!

Ya know what?  Murphy can SUCK IT!   Not even this bad news is going to bring us down!  We worked hard for this!  We deserve to be happy no matter what!   We have gone through this before and here we are, stronger as a couple and family despite it.  Probably because of it.  My kids have learned valuable lessons from all our trials.   They know money is not ever flowing.  They know you have to work hard and sacrifice for even the basics sometimes.   They will do well and value things more as a result.   So, today?  I rejoice!  I celebrate not only 11 years as a couple, but 11 years as a strong resilient front!  


Monday, June 20, 2011

Because Your Baby CAN Lose Weight!

Late night television programming...

(Actual screen shot from my television... not my actual tv)
Thanks info-mercial for making me feel like a bad parent!  Guess it's time to break out with the Phonics AND the Battling the Baby Buldge videos.  Luckily, Lib is good at eating or I would feel like a total failure!  *whew*

Because I Feel Guilty...

The other day, I posted special pics of my daughter and darling hubby.  That night, I felt so guilty that I didn't include ones for my other 2 children, that I had a nightmare where the two of them took me down in a dark alley. 

So, to avoid my nightmare coming true, I present to you, my darling one year old and my beloved grad:

If it seems like I am kissin' baby and kiddo butt in the hopes that they forgive and don't stage a Mommy beat down?  You're right!  They maybe little, but they are both freakishly strong! Frankly?  I fear them. 

In fact, if you don't hear from me for a few days... dial 911.  The baby and the boy have been whispering.  I think my efforts are too little too late.     Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy June 19th!!!

Once every 6 years or so, Daddy's Day lands on June 19th.  When it does, we experience... Daddy/Caiti Day!!    Cait turned 9 today and had to share her day with Dad.   You would think this would mean the 2 of them would do something special together, but... nope.  They are doin' their own thing today.  Currenlty, Cait is watching her new Cars DVD on blu-ray and Dad took a trip to Fry's Electronics and then to get his hair cut.  Both happy, which is good.  I'm too tired from yesterday's birthday party for both Cait and her baby sister Libby.  I am spent.

June sucks, but it's filled with love. ;0)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Busy? Remember... Stress Kills! Take a Minute.

That's right, Stress Kills!  Worse than drugs.  Can lead to drugs. Don't do drugs!  And you feel so frazzled that you start to consider them as an option (or offin' a kid or two), STOP!  Take a breath.  Drink a really cold glass of water.  Count to 10.  Sing a song.  Do a crossword, take a walk, jog in place, do a task you  actually like, or take a ice try full of cubes in to the back yard and chuck them suckers at the back fence as hard as you possible can while picturing Barney/Bieber/Who ever it is that bugs the heck out of you!!!!  *deep breath while clutching ice*  Then chant "It will be over soon.  It will get better.  I will be ok."  If that doesn't work, throw yourself to the ground (perferably in front of the kids so you can scare them with the threat of potential genetic insanity) and throw the biggest, loudest hissy fit you possibly can!!!!  Then when they question why you lost your mind, say it was all for them and to protect them from half-orphanism, to which there is no cure.

Consider this your PSA for the day.    I have done my job.  You are welcome.

*end PSA*
*begin rant*
I hhhhHHHHATE busy days!  Why do things have to clog up your calendar in clumps?  Why can't things spread themselves out?  Too many things going on causes a regularly slightly insane person go completely off the wall BATTY! 

Why do I bring this all up?  June.   That's right June.   Some how, some where, karma... God... the stars alignments... Murphy's Law (and the fact that I am from the Murphy Clan).... or some greater plan than what I can't begin to  fathom because I am not worthy, clumped 3 important dates in my life together by no real choice of my own:  My anniversary, my soon to be 9 year old's birthday, and my soon to be 1 year olds birthday.  AND because it is June, graduations.  Our anniversary is based on the day we met and both girls were mistakes in my rhythm method calculations wonderful surprises!   My son was the only one planned and that's why his birthday is no where near June!!  But his graduation is.  It's also the month we usually get to see our eldest two who live out of state.  And did I mention Father's day?  Can't forget Father's day!

This month sucks.

This week sucks.

Thursday: Libby's 1st birthday!!!   AND   Liam's graduation and the school's end of the year awards ceremony. Seriously.
Friday: Last day of school.  A shortened day.  Of course.
Saturday: Birthday party for the girls.  Last day we will have the eldest 2. :'0(
Sunday: Father's day.  Also, Cait's 9th birthday!!  (the 2nd time she has shared her day with Dad)

Needless to say, Wednesday and prior to Wednesday have and will be prep days for everything.  I'm tired and the "festivities" haven't even begun yet!  *yawn*

I need more coffee.
And time for me. 
Stress kills. 
Don't wanna show up to any of the joyful and memorable times in my children's little lives, dead.  That would suck.  No one wants a zombie on "their day."     Ok... Most people.

Wow.  I'm tired.  That made no real sense.   I don't think.   My mind is starting to rot.   That is exactly why I say "Take time for YOU!"     Potentially dead with mush brain is not good memorable.

I can't wait for my anniversary on the 23rd.   I get to get away for a couple hours!!  MOSTLY kid free. ;0)

I'm gonna need it.

Remember to breath.   (oh crap! *gasp* S'ok!  I'm good!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

!!15 Month Old Taken Away Because Refused To Wean!!

Let me preface this by making it clear that I did not write this.  Upon request from its creator, I am re-posting it in the hopes of rallying more support for this poor woman and her sweet child.  This blog was written by Louma on her blog Amor Maternal.   As she requested, if this story moves you, share it, tweet it, sign the petitions, and if you have a blog... repost it.   Thank you.

Spanish government authorities removed 15 month
old nursling from mother's care due to her refusal
to wean her child by force 

Nine days ago, on May 31st, a Morrocan mother known as Habiba had her child taken away from her without her consent, allegedly because she breastfed her child on demand. Due to her dire financial situation, Habiba had been living with her 15 month old daughter in a women's shelter in Madrid (Instituto Madrileño del Menor y la Familia- IMMF-, which roughly translates to Madrid's Family and Children's Institute).
In later declarations and radio interviews, Nacho de la Mata, her lawyer, informed the media that Habiba had left her child at the facility's daycare center as usual, and that the child was taken away immediately from there. She was then notified that she could no longer live at the shelter, for this facility only took on the care of mothers and she no longer had a child.

Fundación Raíces, a humanitarian organization, immediately took on Habiba's care, providing psychiatric evaluations, performed by well know birth rights activist and author Dr. Ibone Olza, along with legal services, healthcare and financial aid.

According to anonymous information released in the press, supposedly coming from the IMMF, Habiba's child was taken away from her due to her failure to comply to the center's "Psychotherapy and Maternal Habilities Program", allegedly because she was "a violent person", although there are no records of this alleged violence.

Dr. Olza, the psychiatrist who evaluated Habiba, as well as a psychologist, whose name has not yet been released coincide in their impressions on Habiba:

"I'm under the impression that [Habiba] is a sensible and loving mother, with a healthy attachment to her child."

"It is obvious that this separation is highly stressful for the nursling and I can easily predict oncoming symptoms of psychic distress if the physical and emotional bond with her mother is not immediately restored"

"Based on Habiba's thorough psychiatric evaluation I have reached the conclusion that this woman does not suffer from psychiatric disorders nor does she have a drug habit. In my opinion, she is a very capable, loving woman who is now suffering enormously from having been abruptly separated from her child."

"As a child psychiatrist, I know that suddenly separating a fifteen month old child from her mother, transfering her to a government facility with no one the child is familiar with present, causes great damage that could have enduring psychological consequences, if not reunited as soon as possible."

Habiba is not only suffering emotionally but also physically. The day Dr. Olza took on her care, she was suffering from engorgement and was on the edge of developing mastitis. Dr. Olza helped Habiba express her milk and took a half liter of breastmilk to the IMMF. After a lot of persuasion, and arguments about how it would be a crime to waste this mothers "liquid gold", the IMMF accepted the milk although that poses no guarantee upon the child ever being fed it, as Breastfeeding is strictly forbidden in all child welfare group homes.

This news appears to contradict the strong support of breastfeeding in Madrid's breastfeeding and parent-child bonding programs for health professionals. Thus the IMMF's attitude on breastfeeding, and their opinion on it, calling it "chaotic and damaging to children" has caused great alarm among mothers everywhere, not only the breastfeeding community. According to declarations in the newspaper, allegedly coming on behalf of the IMMF, the reason for separating mother and child has nothing to do with their breastfeeding relationship, yet after saying that the child was removed from her mother's care "temporarily and the case would be reevaluated", they warned Habiba beforehand that nursing her child during their one hour weekly visit was absolutely forbidden supposedly because "it would be contrary to the child's institutionalization".

On Saturday June 4th, Dr. Olza decided to seek public support for Habiba's case, and started a Facebook Group called Que el IMMF permita que Habiba amamante a su niña YA (IMMF please allow Habiba to breastfeed her child right now). In less than 24 hours, the group grew to over 2000 members, and currently has over 3500 (and continues growing by the minute).

Yesterday, Habiba was allowed to visit her child, for only an hour. After nine days of being apart, they were reunited for only sixty minutes.

Since information on this case became public, other similar cases of women being forced to wean their children upon threats of their custody being taken over by the state have been brought to light. A public petition in Spanish was signed by over 3500 people, and another 5200 have sent personal letters to the IMMF and other Spanish authorities, as well as Save the Children, Amnesty International and other NGOs to express their support for Habiba and request her to be reunited with her child as soon as possible.

This morning, a Spanish newspaper published further declarations by Dr. Olza about Habiba's impression upon meeting her child briefly yesterday:

"My little girl is no longer the child I knew, at first she wouldn't even look at me... she has lost half a kilo, she looks very thin, this is not proper childcare, she had circles under her eyes, she started crying as soon as I picked her up but then she would stop immediately as if she didn't have the physical strength to cry any longer, she didn't seem like my daughter, she looked like a dead child, a doll".

Dr. Olza explained to the Spanish authorities that the child's reaction was perfectly predictable under the circumstances:

"She wouldn't look her in the face, she looked at her as though she was a complete stranger, not wanting to go near her, [another possible reaction could have been] the contrary, not wanting to let go of her mother afterwards."

"... it was absolutely predictable that the child wouldn't seem happy upon seeing her mother given the circumstances," which is something that an untrained observer could [but should not] interpret as "the child not loving her mother, or that [Habiba] was not a good parent".

"On the contrary, the fact that she reacted this way is proof that the child has suffered enormously from this deep feeling of abandonment"

Not only has the child been traumatically separated from her mother, but there also aren't sufficient caregivers to provide children with the nurturing that they need. After visiting the shelter at which Habiba's baby is being held, Fundación Raíces told the press that during night shifts, there are only two caregivers for 42 children under the age of six.

Minutes ago, Dr. Olza, published the following urgent request, asking all supporters currently residing in Madrid to please protest in front of the IMMF right now:

Less than one hour ago, a representative of the IMMF in charge of Habiba's case has verbally accepted that she sees " her child one hour a week in order for her to maintain their breastfeeding relationship" to which the president of Fundación Raíces has replied that he obviously has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about breastfeeding. His response was that the IMMF would evaluate the possibility of more generous visitation rights. We ask you all to please go stand and protest in front of the IMMF building right now to request that this institutional abuse upon Habiba is put to an end immediately. The address (in Madrid) is Calle Gran Vía 14. The following is extremely important: please take the picture above printed on paper to use as masks during the protest, Habiba does not wish for her face or anyone else's to be displayed in the media. We will all wear this drawing as masks because We are all Habiba.

I'm perfectly aware that this story seems very much like a hoax, but with well know professionals such as María Teresa Hernández, member of the Spanish Pediatrics Academy's Breastfeeding Commitee, award-winning lawyer Nacho de la Mata, well reknown authors and birth activists Isabel Fernández del Castillo and Ibone Olza, among others backing the information and giving their personal impressions on the matter publicly, things seem greatly believable.

If this story has touched your heart, if you wish to help in any way, please share this post. If you have a blog, please re-publish this information, if you know anyone in the press, anywhere in the world who could help in any way, please do contact them.
If you wish to support Habiba on Facebook, please join this group in Spanish, or this international page with other translations, including English and French.

Please sign the public petition in Spanish, or in English (rough translation).

Thank you!

Leer más: http://www.amormaternal.com/2011/06/please-help-habiba.html#ixzz1OszGWZY7

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
**** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ****
Thank you all for reading.  Much love,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dumpster Diving ... Glorified!

Again, I have found myself on a fellow blogger's website posting a comment that I really should have posted here.  As before, I posted it anyway, copied and pasted it here!  To see what fan-tab-u-lous blog inspired this entry, please visit Elisabeth's blog Flourish in Progress and her recent blog entry on roughly the same topic.   And yes... I'm lazy.  ;0p

While I could never bring myself to dumpster dive, my Mom has on many occasions.  I have sold some of her finds on eBay before for an easy profit.  (I checked them and cleaned them completely.  Sellers loved the items.  Don't judge! ;0p ) 

Now a days, dumpster diving has given way to things she finds in hotel rooms she cleans for a living (as you have seen in my previous post... more to come on that with better items than dish soap bars.)  However, that includes a 30 day lost and found waiting period.  Not as instantly gratifying, but kinda like Christmas when she gets the lost and found bags that time has expired on.  

My current obsession is going to Goodwill's outlet store.   Dumpster diving glorified!!  You go into a warehouse with 2 dozen or more blue semi-shallow sorting bins on wheels, each about the size of a compact car.  Each is filled with misc. items that didn't sell at their stores for whatever reason.  (usually, due to over pricing)  With the exception of furniture and other hand selected heavier items, everything is sold by the pound.  Everything from house hold items, toys and books to shoes and clothing.   It's awesome!  I have found all sorts of things there including a Bulova ladies watch w/ diamonds (hidden deep in a inner pocket of a really cute diaper bag), a Coach  and a Dooney purse.  Many items, I have turned around and sold for quite the profit.  I highly recommend it.  '0)

Just... stay away from the outlet I go to.   I'd hate to go all crazy on you over a pair of Prada Shoes at the bottom of a bin.  I have a screaming baby with me at all times and I know how to use her.   Stay back!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things Found in a Room

I would like to start a new segment I have been threatening to start for a long time:  Things Found in a Room.

What kind of room, you ask?  Hotel rooms.  Residence Inn rooms to be more specific.  I will leave exactly which, where and who I get these from out of the stories.  Not because they have been stolen or otherwise acquired illegally, no.  It's because I don't want you insane lovely people going there and leaving odd things there so you can land a spot on my inglorious blog!  ;0p

First item up for your enjoyment.... VIM!  With the "EXTRA POWER OF LIME!"

Yup.  Dish soap in bar form. 

 I think? 

Pretty sure.

Found what I believe is their website.  Check it out if you wish. http://www.vim.ca/vim_eng.html Or not.  Not all that exciting.  Located out of Canada?  Sorry, but that doesn't look like Canadian to me. (English and French.  I'm being goofy, not stupid.  Although I do have my moments.)  I am not even going to venture to guess what language that is, because chances are, I would be wrong.    However, they tend to get a lot of  temporary residents from India.  Eh?  Maybe. However, on the website, no bars. I guess bars aren't popular for scrubbing pots and pans in Canada. Go figure!

That concludes my very first epi blog-i-sode of   "Things Found in a Roooooooooooom!"

(Bar available for sale. No really. Want it?  All proceeds go to aiding me in my coffee and choco addiction.)

Wordless Wednesday

County Fair 2011

Could they look any happier?  Maybe?  Sheesh!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ancient Deliciousness!

First things first:  I am beyond sorry for my extended absence.  June is a mega busy month.  I know that doesn't explain why I haven't been here in MAY, but if you were me (or you know me personally), it TOTALLY makes sense! 

I have wanted to get on here and post a spit load of things.  In fact, I have a folder with pics just screaming at me to write about them.  Yes, pics.  My most recent attempt at encouraging myself to blog more often and quite possibly... *gasp* ... regularly!    Ok, maybe not that often.  That requires organization.  Something I long for, but lack on a large scale.

In the attempt to catch up with my own rambling thoughts, I present you with one of the many pics in that folder:  Ancient Deliciousness!

In a cup. :0)

This has got to be THE best Greek  yogurt of all freakin' time!!!  I kid you not!  I love this stuff!  (and no, they aren't paying me.  But if they want to, I will gladly take a month, year or even a life times supply in payment!!!)  I will admit, I was leery of trying Greek Yogurt.  And at first, it seemed a bit bitter.  Still not sure if that was because it was new to me or if it was a bit old.  *shudder*  My first time out, I tried Vanilla.  It s'ok.  Then Honey.  It's a bit strong, but good.  But then I tried the Strawberry Cream and the equally delicious Blueberry Cream.  Oh. My. Greek. Gods!!!  This stuff is FANTASTIC!!  Don't get me wrong, I like regular yogurt, but NEVER has regular yogurt made we sneak back into my own damn kitchen like a kid attempting to swipe ice cream when no one was looking and left me feeling almost guilty for eating more than one!

Yes.  That good.

It is soooooo creamy and oh so yummy.   Even PLAIN!  And that says a lot people.   I hate plain yogurt.

So, if you happen to come across ZOI Greek Yogurt in your grocer's refrigerated section, I say you grab one... or two... hell, grab 10!  They are that. Damn. Good!   And if you find I'm am full off bull and you hate them, I will happily take them all off your hands.  And eat them.   All.  

Consider it a potentially guilt ridden service I am willing to provide you. 

Because I care.  '0)