How do I know?

It doesn't need to be said that, as parents, we will fight for our children. They are young, still learning. Often how they feel cannot be put into words. It is our job to make sure they succeed. It is our job to make them better when ill.

But how do we know when to fight and when to sit back and wait?

At 6, my son can give you all kinds of tips and tricks when playing Lego Pirates of the Caribbean.
Even though we are now on the same level. And I had to help him catch up to me.

He can name almost any construction vehicle, as well as explain what each one does.

He can draw a blueprint of something he wants to build and explain each step along the way.

What he cannot do is tell me why his head hurts.

Every so often, he complains of headaches after school. Sometimes he says they happen after gym or outside recess. But he cannot tell me why. He didn't fall. A friend didn't push him. He just has a headache.

At first I thought I should get his eyes checked. I know he will need glasses because, as of now, he is the only one without them in the family. But he shows no signs of needing them. He doesn't squint. His teacher hasn't mentioned him having trouble seeing the board from the back of the room. Hell, he can see things far away that I can't see and I wear glasses!

I want to fight for my child to find an answer, but I don't know where to start. Calling the doctor to say he has a headache seems a little silly. Some Tylenol and quiet time will clear that right up.

But what if there's more that I cannot see and he cannot tell me? Do I fight and risk sounding overprotective about something trivial? Or do I sit by and wait, hoping it's nothing?

How do I know?

Pour your heart out

Crack Bread

I have always been afraid of making bread. I associate making bread with yeast and needing things to rise. Those are scary concepts to me as I'm not a huge baker. Earlier this year I came across a bread recipe in a Food Network magazine my mother-in-law had laying around. I am so glad I made a copy of the recipe. It is super easy and there's a very good reason why I refer to it as Crack Bread.

Chocolate chip banana bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


2 well ripened bananas
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup cooled melted butter OR vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt OR sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon citrus zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350
Lightly butter one 9x5 loaf pan or three 6x3 mini pans

1. Peel and mash the bananas. I usually use a fork for this. Set aside

2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl

3. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 eggs, butter/vegetable oil, yogurt/sour cream, vanilla extract and citrus zest. Stir in the mashed bananas.

4. Fold the egg and banana mixture into the dry mixture until just combined.

5. Spread the batter in the prepared pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes for a standard loaf, 35-40 minutes for mini loaves. Cool 30 minutes in the pan(s) on a rack, then turn out onto the rack to completely cool.

Chocolate chip banana bread

My Tips

I use vegetable oil instead of melted butter because melting butter is just a pain in the ass. I also use sour cream because, like bread and milk, it is a staple in our house.

Instead of buttering the loaf pan, I line it with foil. After cooling for at least 30 minutes, you can lift the bread right out of the pan and you also have one less dish to wash. Genius, right?

I have yet to try this, but if you are feeling especially ambitious, you can also make a glaze by whisking 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Drizzle over the cooled bread and let set, 15-20 minutes.

This bread is so rich and creamy. If it wasn't for that fact, I could very well sit my ass on the couch and eat the whole loaf.

I have a list of other ways to make this bread using different fruits and vegetables, as well as other mix-ins besides chocolate chip. Let me know if you're interested!

*Have a recipe or craft you would like to share? I would love to feature it here! Contact me at eumbel at gmail dot com*

Creamy Beef Stroganoff - recipe

Last week I wrote a post about my son cooking dinner and the reaction I got when I bragged about it. It's still a sore subject, but I have moved on. At the end of that post I promised to share the recipe last Friday.

Last week, weekend included, was the week from hell. Crazy busy doesn't even begin to describe how I was. Because of that, I'm not sure if I can make it through Christmas. So before I completely lose my mind, I want to share this recipe for beef stroganoff that I found on All Recipes. Not only is it good, but it is so easy to make. So easy, my 6 year old made. Except for cutting up the beef and the onions.


  • 1 pound beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (10 ounce) tub PHILADELPHIA Original Cooking Creme*
  • 1/3 cup fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups hot cooked noodles
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
*I used Italian Herb flavor Cooking Creme. The garlic flavor is good, too, but I would only use 1/2 of a tub mixed with 1/2 block of cream cheese. It is strong!


1. Boil noodles according to package directions.

2. Cook mean and onions in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 to 6 minutes, or until done. Remove from skillet; drain. Cover to keep warm.

3. Add butter to skillet; cook until melted. Add mushrooms and pepper; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

4. Add cooking creme; cook and stir 2 minutes. Return meat to skillet; stir in broth. Cook 5 minutes

5. Serve over noodles; sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 4

My Tips

I buy a package of pre-cut skillet steaks, roughly 1/2 pound. I cut each strip in half. This saves on time.

I also buy a package of pre-sliced and washed mushrooms. Again, a time saver!

If you decide to make this, I'd love to hear what you think of this meal!

hosted by Amy from Keeping up with the Schultz Family

Top 9 Christmas Songs

Because I can't think of a tenth. So sue me- I've been busy.

I love Christmas as much as the next person. I also love Christmas music. As long as it isn't played until after turkey day! Yesterday, KLZ from Taming Insanity posted a list of her top 10 Christmas songs. She listed some of my favorites, but it inspired me to make a list of my own.

With a twist of course. Enjoy!

1. The Grinch- because no one can be holly and jolly 24/7

2. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas- Um... who wouldn't want that?

3. Dominick the Donkey - Hee Haw

4. 12 pains of Christmas - I may have quoted this song when putting lights outside last week

5. Walkin' Round in Women's Underwear

6. Christmas at Ground Zero - you can't have Christmas without some Weird Al!

7. Nuttin for Christmas - what my kids might get if they don't shape up!

8. The Chanukah Song - I can't forget my Jewish friends out there

And finally, Trans-Siberian Orchestra aside, my all time favorite Christmas song. Make sure your kids aren't within earshot, k?

9. Ho Ho Fucking Ho

What's your favorite Christmas song, funny or otherwise?

It's not a competition

Worrying if I am doing the best for my children is a constant struggle of mine. I know I am not alone in this. Not a day goes by when I don't see another mom, online or off, struggling with her role as a mother.

Along with raising our children to the best of our abilities, part of motherhood is also supporting our fellow moms. When another mom is struggling, we rally together to offer our support. When another mom is bragging about her child's latest accomplishment, we join in her celebration.

What motherhood is not is a competition.

Earlier this week, my son, who is 6, made dinner. And I'm not talking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I'm talking this...

Beef Stroganoff

Aside from cutting up and cooking the meat and onions, he cooked the rest of the meal. And it was delicious!

Of course I had to share. I posted to Facebook and I posted to Twitter. I expected one of two things - congratulations or nothing at all. What I did not expect was a woman warning me about a cooking disaster her daughter had. This is not the first time this woman has turned my proud moment into a disastrous moment about her daughter.

I brag about my children because I am proud of what they do. I do not need my joy crushed with warnings of what could happen. If you want to share a similar story with me about your child, by all means, please do so. I would honestly love to hear it. But your child is no better than mine. And mine are no better than yours.

I wish everyone would stop and think before they speak, tweet, or comment. It's about supporting, not competing.

pour your heart out

Visit Shell for more PYHO links and come back on Friday if you want the recipe for this delicious stroganoff!


Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful. Thankful is something you should be all year, but this time of year it is stressed. I have many things to be thankful for.

Even if they are a pain in my ass.

I am thankful for...

Mount Laundry

Not a day goes by where I don't have one pile or another of clothes to wash. But every time I trip over one of those piles or leave a trail of socks behind me as I walk down to the laundry room, I am reminded of how thankful I am we are able to all have clothes on our backs. Or the floor.

Skyscrapers of dishes in the sink

Or on the counter. My daughter and I share the responsibility of washing said dishes. If I'm not complaining about the lasagna that burned to the pan and won't come off, then I'm bribing her to actually wash them at a reasonable hour. No matter how much whining and crying I do over those dishes, I am reminded of thankful I am we are able to fill plates with food each and every night.


Whether they are fighting or laughing, I know that they always have and always will love one another. I can't imagine my life without them. It is truly a miracle that the husband and I let them live this long created such beautiful creatures.

Creaky floors and leaky pipes

It is no secret that I hate this house. So many memories have been made here, but most days, it still doesn't feel like a home. Just a house. But no matter how I feel about this house of ours, I am always thankful that we have a roof over our heads.

Alarm clocks

Not a day goes by when I don't want to chuck them into the wall. Yes I said them. This chic loves her sleep! But since one of those alarms is on my phone, which I also love, I resist the urge to throw things at the butt crack of noon dawn. Instead of throwing, I remind myself that hearing my alarms every morning remind me that I am alive. And I am very thankful for that.


Do I really need to explain this one?!


I am taking the remainder of this week off to enjoy a day of good food, followed by a long day of shopping. I hope everyone out there has a happy turkey day.

May you gobble til you wobble!

pour your heart out

Come on get happy

Last weekend was my daughter's 10th birthday. As it is a tradition, I once again made her cake. Or in this case, cupcakes.

Browsing through Pinterest, my daughter and I came across 2 different cupcakes that she fell in love with. She decided on the sunshine cupcakes, and perhaps we will save the owl ones for another year.

With a little bit of patience,
sunshine cupcakes are so easy to make.

Sunshine cupcakes

Items Needed:

1 box vanilla cake mix
1 tub white frosting
Yellow food coloring
1 tube of black icing
Decorating tips
Candy corns

*I use Cake Mate tubes of frosting because the company also sells a pack of decorating tips that screw right onto the tubes. Super easy to use!*

Make the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. While the cupcakes are baking, empty half of the frosting into a bowl. Add 10-12 drops of yellow food coloring. Mix well. Frost your cupcakes once they have cooled.

Sunshine cupcakes

*Half a canister of frosting was just the right amount for 24 cupcakes. If you find you need more frosting, add some more to the bowl with a few extra drops of food coloring*

Once you have all of your cupcakes frosted, you can begin placing candy corns around the outer edge. I found that 6 or 7 candy corns were just enough. By placing the candy corns on first, you can now easily judge how much room you have to draw a face.

Sunshine cupcakes

Finally, you can place your happy cupcakes in your brand new, super cool cupcake/cake carrier. Or maybe that's just me. I may only use this thing twice a year, but it was definitely worth the purchase!

Sunshine cupcakes

One more thing, If you are not eating the cupcakes right away, I would suggest putting them in the fridge until ready to serve. I'm not sure what happened, but some of the candy corns were slipping off of the cupcakes by the time we got to my mom's house for my daughter's party.

Do you make cakes for your child's birthday? If so, what have you made?

If you have a recipe or craft you would like to share, I would love to feature you! Contact me at eumbel (at) gmail (dot) com

Safe, but at what cost?

My oldest recently turned 10, but even when she was a toddler, I knew I didn't want to be a parent like my dad was. Don't get me wrong, my father was a great man and a great parent, but we definitely had our moments. One thing him and I disagreed on was a certain friend of mine. Her and I formed our bond in third grade. As high school approached, she had numerous piercings and watched shows like 90210 and Melrose Place. He deemed her a bad influence.

I never wanted to be a parent like that where I told my children who they could or couldn't be friends with. In light of recent events, I fear this may have to happen.

A few Fridays ago, GG's friend called asking her to join her at a high school football game. It had been a while since the two girls hung out so I helped GG bundle up, shoved a few bills in her pocket, and sent her on her way. Little Dude was upset he couldn't join the girls. It had been a long day and I just wasn't up for dealing with the noise of the game along with the chilly Fall weather. I didn't realize until later in the evening that this game was the last of the season.

Little did I know that our high school football team would win that last game and make it the playoffs. The following Friday, GG's friend called once again inviting her to the game. Once again I bundled her up, shoved a few bills in her pocket, and sent her on her way.

Immediately after I turned to Little Dude and told him to bundle up as we were going to the game as well. When Little Dude and I arrived at the stadium, I asked him to pick a seat. We would try to find his sister, but that didn't mean we would sit with her and her friend. It's a struggle for me, but I am trying to give my daughter more independence.

We spotted GG and her friend a few sections over. We made our way over to let her know we were there. As I sat down, I began to look for her friend's father. I assumed he had gone to the concession stand for treats or hot chocolate. Perhaps he even went up the hill behind the bleachers where you are allowed to smoke. As the first quarter of the game came to a close, the friend's father had yet to show.

This was when I made the realization that he had dropped the two then 9 year old girls at the stadium by themselves. This was also the time I began to freak out.

We have been to our high school's football games in the past. It is a very family friendly environment and being a small community, most people know each other. Regardless, "you never know who is out there" and "it only takes a second" kept running through my head. Especially when the girls went off the play with friends behind the end zone where it's not as well lit. I know our team won the game and I did see some of the big plays, but for the most part I was keeping an eye on the girls.

I know this family has been through a lot over the past few years. This friend and her sister lost their mom to cancer. It is now just the girls and their dad. But that doesn't make it right to let them have free reign to do as they please, without the supervision of a responsible adult.

Sadly, because of other things I hear these girls are permitted to do, I don't feel that talking to their dad would make much of a difference. Right now I feel my only option is to limit where my daughter is allowed to go with her friend. My daughter, at 10, still sees the world as a perfect place. Yes, she knows there are bad people out there, but she has yet to understand how serious and how devastating it can be to run into those people.

I only want to keep her safe, but I do not like some of the decisions I have to make to ensure that.

pour your heart out

How do you supervise?

Supervise - to oversee during execution or performance; superintend; have the oversight and direction of. Also, to watch over as to maintain order.


According to this definition, supervise means more than just watching over something. It also means keeping things in order and in line. I'm pretty sure, after what happened last week, that I need to show this to the PTA at my kids' school so they can paste it on any and all permission forms. Let me explain...

This elementary school, in particular, the PTA, does a lot for the students. We have a Halloween Dance, Ornament decorating night, and family bingo. This year the officers decided to add a monthly family movie night.

The month of October held the first family movie night. There were a few bumps during the evening, but being the first of such events, it was almost expected. Last week was our 2nd movie night - Cars 2.

Both of my kids were so excited to see this movie, but especially my son. Every student in his class won 2 free tickets for being the class who brought in the most Box Tops. I dug out of popcorn bowls, my son grabbed one of his favorite blankets, and off we went.

The first half of the movie went off without a hitch, but during the second half, all hell broke loose. Some of the younger kids (Kindergarten and 1st grade) were growing restless and began to run around the gym where the movie was being shown. A few thought it was funny to stick their hands in front of the projector to block the movie. One boy was having a grand time smashing a candy necklace all over the floor. Where were his parents? Neither myself or the 2 women in charge ever figured that out.

In the back of the gym, another boy was running back and forth screaming. This boy is a first or second grader. He was also trying to scale the walls and when he was bored with that activity, eh began to smash Pop Rocks on the floor because "he liked the sound they made". Where was his mom? Again, not sure. She got up and walked out at one point. It was assumed she had to use the ladies room or stepped outside to smoke. She was no where to be found. Until 30 minutes later when she returned. Stumbling through the door, slurring her speech.

I could see by their faces that I was not the only parent annoyed with the children in the front of the room causing a disruption. With some of those troublesome kids, their parents did nothing but watch them bounce to and fro. Or look on as another student told them not to touch something, like the projector.

Regarding the boy in the back of the gym, 2 families spoke to the women in charge. They felt this child was causing too much of a disruption and they had decided to go home because of him.

It clearly states on the permission form that parental supervision is required. I guess the exact definition of supervision needs to be made clearer.

I have mostly enjoyed the first 2 movie nights, but if situations like this continue, I fear movie nights won't last long. It would be a damn shame if a large group of children have to miss out on something fun because of a handful of troublemakers.

The proof is on the paper

People tell me I am Super Mom.

I am not only a member of the PTA, but I attend each and every meeting. I volunteer my time at school functions. I am a Girl Scout leader. I make home made Halloween costumes. I crochet Christmas gifts. I do crafts with my kids. If I am not running here, I am running there. I have so much on plate, but seem to get it all done.

I can also pretend. I may appear to be Super Mom, but if you look closer, you will realize I am not.

My house is a mess. My list of unfinished projects is almost as long as those I have finished. I have a smile on my face, but I may not be truly happy. I yell at my children. Oh, how I yell.

My children could care less about the projects I have not finished. They could care less about the mess, which most often leas to the yelling. And the yelling they care about.

Sunday night. Just home from my in-laws and a mountain of things to do before the kids went to bed. My son didn't finish putting his toys away before we left, but now he was "too tired" to do it. My daughter needed to wash some of the dishes. I needed room in the kitchen to bake the following day. The dry skin on her elbow hurt and the soap only makes it worse.

I asked. I pleaded. I began to yell. They wouldn't have time to play with glow sticks in the tub if they didn't finish their chores.

Things were beginning to unravel, but they finally finished their jobs.

My son played in the tun while my daughter practiced her flute. But he finished his bath first. He quickly dressed and ran downstairs to pester her. Already being frustrated with her flute practice, she began to yell. I yelled at my son as I stormed up to the bathroom too prepare my daughter's bath.

All was calm while she played, but when the last drop of water drained from the tub, tempers flared again. I was tired. I had enough. I yelled and scolded for the things they have not done. Daily chores that are ignored. Too many toys taken out that take too long to put away.

"Why do I have to keep reminding you? Why do you make me yell? I am not happy! I am very disappointed!"

My children shuffled off to bed while I escaped to the couch, holding back tears. I heard what I said and I didn't like it. My children went to bed upset and I did not like it. I needed to apologize and let them know just how much I love them.

I returned to the steps and began to climb. As I reached the top step I realized it was not my children who had disappointed me. It was me who disappointed my children. The proof was sitting on the floor outside my son's room.

No Mom

Mom not alawde
(Mom not allowed)

Pour Your Heart Out

This may very well be the hardest post I have written. I want to be the kind of mom my kids look back on as adults and think how great their childhood was. I try. I really do. But on this night I failed. Lately I feel like I fail more than I succeed. The proof is on the paper.

Just sand

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle,
When 24 hours in a day is not enough;
remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly,he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and started to fill it with golf balls. He asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course the sand filled up everything else. He asked the class once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous "yes".

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured then into the jar, effectively filling the empty spaces between the sand.

The students laughed.

"Now", said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter, like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first", he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life."

"If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
you will never have room for the things
that are important to you..."


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical check-ups.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

Take care of the golf balls first-
the things that matter.
Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. "It goes to show that no matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend."

Quick pasta carbonara (how to)

Philadelphia cooking cremeThat, over there? The cooking creme? It's my new best friend!

How I have never thought to use it before is beyond me. But now that we have met, I am trying to find as many recipes as I can just to use Cooking Creme.

Recipes such as Quick Pasta Carbonara. I'm going to share my version of this dish with you. The only vegetable in the original are peas. I have 2 kids and we all know how much kids love peas!


1 box or bag egg noodles, approx. 1 pound
4-6 slices bacon (I went for 6!)
1 tub Philadelphia Cooking Creme, Italian Cheese & Herb flavor
1 bag frozen vegetables (I chose a broccoli, cauliflower, carrot mix)

1. Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, cook bacon is a large skillet until crisp.

2. Remove bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon, reserving 2 Tbsp drippings. Drain bacon on a paper towel.

3. Add vegetables to the skillet. Cook until they are heated through. Add the Cooking Creme and let simmer for 5 minutes.

4. While the vegetable mixture is simmering in the skillet, crumble the bacon. Add the bacon to the skillet in the last minute to heat through.

5. Add the vegetable mixture to the noodles. Serve and enjoy!

Quick pasta carbonara

I have decided to make sharing a recipe or craft a weekly Friday feature. I can't possibly come up with something to share every week. I am opening up this blog to guest posters. If you have a recipe or craft you would like to share, contact me at eumbel (at) gmail (dot) com.

Can't You See?

I don't always understand those around me and the decisions they make, but I make it a point to learn, empathize, or hopefully begin to understand. Lately, I have run into more people that I care to count who can't seem to look past their noses. They assume I, and my loved ones, would do things the way they would. They assume that we will side with them and turn against flesh and blood. I do not understand those who can't see around themselves. No matter how hard I try, I don't think I ever will.

I will never understand my aunt's claims to be the victim. No matter what she says, she will never make me believe. She is not the victim. She is the controller. She is the one who drives people away. Playing victim to those too kind to tell her the truth will never be acceptable to me.

I will never understand those who think I can drop everything to cater to them. My family and I were invited to a wedding. My mother-in-law planned for months the outfits she would buy my children only to find out last minute they are not invited. Upon my mother-in-law's request, or demand depending on your point of view, we opted out of attending this wedding. Because of those I failed to mail back my RSVP. My MIL, who has been avoiding their calls out of hurt for a week, finally caved and picked up the phone. She explained to the bride's grandmother my family and I cannot go to the wedding because no one is available to watch our children. The grandmother asked if my mother could watch them for the night.

How lovely it would be to have my mother, or anyone, available at the drop of a hat so I can have a much needed night out with adults. But that is not my life and she shouldn't assume that it is.

I will never understand those who believe a charitable donation should only be given to a certain group of people.

My borough is small, yet at the elementary level, it is divided in two. My children's school tries every year to raise money for a local family in need. It is a game for the students. A game they greatly enjoy. And they are all made aware of what they are doing - helping those in need. The family we are helping this year lives on the other side of the borough. How crass of someone, a teacher, to say we should help a family on our side of the borough instead. To me, that is like saying we should only support troops overseas who come from our town.

Quite often I judge and I do so too fast. I keep those opinions to myself so I can open my ears, not my mouth. My judgements may be wrong, but I will never know unless I give the time to learn more about those around me. But no matter how hard I listen, some people I will never understand.

Pour Your Heart Out

I Have...

Prompt #1- 22 things you HAVE done

1. I have traveled to a few cities in France and Italy.

2. I have sang karaoke. Love shack, baby!

3. I have been hit by a car while walking. It was minor and actually quite funny.

4. I have been to NYC twice, but saw nothing more than the inside of the airports.

5. I have given birth twice without the help of any medication. Not by choice!

6. I have been on both ends of the adoption process.

7. I learned the hard way that 1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, floor is true.

8. I am a big sports fan, but have yet to be inside one of the three new stadiums/arenas in this city.

9. I have experienced the loss of a parent.

10. I have taken my kids out of school not once, but twice for a parade.

11. I have run from the cops through corn fields and cows.

12. I have taught myself to crochet.

13. I got lost numerous times because I chose to listen to the bitch in my phone, ie GPS.

14. I let my kids cry it out.

15. I used a pacifier when I swore I would never bring one into this house.

16. I have experimented with drugs.

17. I have stood in the middle of nowhere to gaze at the stars. Completely unrelated to #16!

18. I have stayed up all night to see the sun rise.

19. I have watched scary shows like Ghost Adventures with my 6 year old.

20. I signed up to be a Girl Scout leader, something I swore I would never do.

21. I have walked with friends to raise money for cancer.

22. I have finished this list.

It's like high school

Elementary school functions. They're very similar to the few functions I attended in high school. Those I would have called bitches back then, and probably did, are now known as Motherbitches.

Last Friday was the annual Halloween dance at my kids' school. My kids had a fantabulous time and I'm sure the other students did as well. Me, on the other hand? I was tempted to bring home some of the leftover fruit punch and make a quick swing by the liquor store. All because of mother bitches.

Motherbitches #1:

Those who signed up to help before, during, or after the dance. Very few of them actually showed up. Showed up to help, that is. Some were seen during the dance chatting away to friends on the dance floor. But once those light came on at the end, they were gone.

Motherbitches #2:

The moms you would think have never seen their kid dressed in a costume. I understand wanting to take a picture of your toddler during the costume contest. Who doesn't love chubby cheeked little girls dressed up as a bumble bee. Or a boy, barely old enough to walk, donning a Spider Man costume, complete with fake muscles. Moms of older children, as in 2nd grade and up, they really needed to stop.

I was keeping an eye on a friend's sleeping son in his stroller. With how many moms that bumped into him while trying to move around for the perfect shot, I don't know how he didn't wake.

Motherbitches #3:

Those who are too good (or lazy) to clean up their messes. Our drink for the night was fruit punch. Fruit punch is red. Red stains. Quite a few spills were left for someone else to clean up. The janitor is the only one allowed to mop the floors. I don't even want to know what words were popping out of her mouth when she saw all those red spots under the tables.

Motherbitch #4:

Just one this time. This would be the mom of Kindergarten student, S. S is friends with my son. S is not a friend I like. I don't like the words he uses nor do I like how he treats people. What started as innocent poking and bumping turned into something more.

My boy was having fun playing with S while lined against the wall for the costume contest. The fun stopped when S refused to give my son's hat back. I tried to stay out of it because my boy needs to defend himself. But when that wasn't working, I had to step in and tell S to give my boy his hat back.

Where was S's mom? I have no clue. S is always getting into things. His mom can rarely be found. I don't want to tell my kids who to be friends with, but it's getting close to that point with S.

I feel like I am being mean in my venting, but I really don't understand. As adults, why haven't some people grown up enough to realize they aren't the only ones in the world? And why can't people take more responsibility when it comes to their kids?


Genius word
by an awesome woman

Crock Pot Steak and Potato Soup

While I may not be a fan of this cooler weather, I do love the meals associated with Fall. I also love crock pot meals that are easy to prepare. This is why Steak and Potato Soup is one of my favorite dinners to prepare.

Steak and Potato Soup


1 lb beef boneless round steak

1 lb small red potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 medium stalks celery, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 T beef bouillon granules

1.2 tsp pepper

2 cartons (32 oz each) beef flavored broth

1 jar (6 oz) sliced mushrooms, undrained

1/2 C water

1/2 C flour

1. Cut beef into 1 x 1/4- inch pieces. Mix beef and remaining ingredients, except water and flour in a 5-quart slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on Low 8-9 hours

3. Mix water and flour in a small bowl; gradually stir into soup until blended. Increase heat setting to High. Cover and cook about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.

I stick to this recipe, with a few minor alterations.

- A bag of precut celery stalks. Ever since I was pregnant with my son, the smell of raw celery turns my stomach. Since these stalks are smaller, I can cut each one into thirds, toss them in the pot and be done. I use about half a bag.

- A bag of baby carrots. I cut each carrot in half, thirds if one is especially large. I use half the bag for the soup and the other half is for my kids to take in their school lunches.

- 6 beef bouillon cubes is approximately the same amount as 1 Tablespoon of the granules.

Because I am not a morning person, I usually prepare the soup later in the day and cook it on high for 4-5 hours. I slowly add the flour to the water, mixing quickly with a fork. I slowly add this mixture to the crock pot, cover, and continue to cook on high for another 30 minutes.

If you choose to make this soup, I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine.


This post is linked to KludgyMom's I Love Fall Foods

Fall foods

Tooth Fairy Mishap

For weeks, I was freaking out. All because of a tooth. A tooth that belonged to my 9 year old.

She told me almost every day that she had a loose tooth. Do 9 year olds still get loose teeth? It's been far too long since I was that age!

When did she last lose a tooth? Did I write it down somewhere? Which tooth was it? Do I need to call the dentist for her, even though I know her brother is the one who really needs to go?

Those were the questions running through my head on a nightly basis. Her tooth certainly didn't feel all that wiggly to me. I very well could have talked to friends with children her age or older. I also could have turned to the Google for answers. But, no. I chose to worry.

As it turns out, it is perfectly normal for a 9 year old to still lose teeth. I finally turned to the Google after she yanked her tooth out. I'm saying "yanked" because I swear it wasn't that loose! After Master Google calmed my nerves, round 2 of the freak out began. I, being the Tooth Fairy (shh!), needed money. It was not a good week for money. In this house, we happen to enjoy running water and lights to see what the hell we're doing. The weeks we decide it's better to not sit on the couch in the dark stinking to high heaven are also the weeks we happen to have little actual cash in our wallets. It was also after the kids' bedtime, which meant pajamas for me. I'm not the type of girl who wears her jammies out in public. A bank trip was out of the question.

The husband and I scrounged up a few bucks. Teeth aren't cheap these days! And then the waiting game began. My daughter would much rather read than go to sleep. But then her cough started. And then she needed a tissue. And then she needed to refill her water bottle. And then she needed a tissue. And then she needed to pee.

Good grief! Go the fuck to sleep! Tooth Fairy is tired!


11:30 pm

It is silent.

Except for the husband listening to his beloved Bears on the tv downstairs. go Packers

I tip toe to my daughter's room. I push the button on her lamp. The princesses do their dance as the light shuts off. Not so quietly I might add. I freeze and watch. She hasn't stirred. I click on the bathroom light so I can try to avoid the disaster on her bedroom floor. I tried, but was unsuccessful. Nor was I quiet!

I slip the envelope containing her tooth from her bookshelf. I quietly slip a few crisp bills between a soccer trophy and a Little Pet Shop creature. I slink out of her room, reach around the corner, and tap the switch in the bathroom.

"Mom?! Why did you turn off my light?"

Shit! Busted!

I hurdle over American Girl clothes and tap on her lamp. The princesses twirl once again as soft light fills her room. I freeze as I cross my fingers, hoping she rolls back over and drifts off.

She rolls over. I think I'm safe. It might also help that my daughter, at 9 years old, is blind as a bat without her glasses.

The following morning, she was so excited to have some money to add to her jar. I smiled, hoping she stops believing soon. It's easier that way I think.

Just not Santa. He IS real!

The meaning behind

We would stay to the left while walking up the stairwell, afraid they would fall on us. When the warmer weather, came they would gather in corners. Hundreds upon hundreds.

There are many things I learned while at my first college, but the meaning behind my first tattoo is one I will never forget.

Sophomore year. My roommate, she was a rebel. A rebel with tattoos. Wanting to add to her collection, she convinced a mutual friend and I we needed one, too. I scrounged up sixty dollars. A lot for a poor college girl. We drove to a shop in the middle of nowhere. All I could afford was a small tattoo. Flipping through the artist's portfolio, I saw a ladybug and it took me back to that stairwell, where hundreds gathered in the corners.

Tattoo ladybug

My ladybug has since faded, but the memories are strong. I have added to my collection. The ladybug wasn't alone in that stairwell, and it won't be alone on me.

My green dragon flying free. Somewhere I'd like to think that they do exist.

Tattoo dragon

My flowers for my children, who continue to grow like weeds. Each flower represents the month of their birth.

Tattoo flowers

Finally my flowers. A safe place for my ladybug to land. A reminder that I must continue to grow as I age.

Tattoo flowers

My body is a temple. A temple to worship, protect, and decorate. I often wonder what will be next and what meaning it will hold.

Write a piece in which a tattoo figures prominently. Word count - 300. I have 246.
My apologies for the poor picture quality. It's not easy to take pictures of your own body!

Concrit welcome. As well as tattoo ideas!

Mean girls

I worked in the child care field for many years, with numerous age groups. While the job can be extremely frustrating, it did not lessen my love for children. As it is with my own 2 children, I will always love them. But that doesn't mean I always have to like them.

Over the years I have learned that children, who are such little beings, can be mean. Very mean. Especially girls. This is something we are currently dealing with in my house.

My daughter is a little social butterfly. She will play with anyone and everyone. She has always been that way. Over the past year or so I have noticed cliques forming within her classmates. I knew it was a matter of time, but I had hoped she would be the girl that everyone likes. The girl who can float from clique to clique without upsetting anyone.

My hopes are nothing more that hope, slowing fading away.

Two girls that my daughter has played with for years are suddenly ignoring her, at least when the two girls in question are together. My daughter asks to be on their team for one activity or another. She asks to play with them at recess. Every time she asks, some excuse is made to not include her, if they don't completely ignore her all together.

At the tender age of 9, I've already had a talk with my daughter about what a real friend is. Still believing she can be friends with everyone, I know this will take some time to sink in. Because it will take time, I know there will be more heartaches.

I need my girl to understand that she is special. She is a good person with a big heart. Others who pick and choose when they can be friends are not worth her time. I don't care if she is the most popular girl in school. I don't care if she becomes head cheerleader. What I do care about is making sure she surrounds herself with true friends. Girls, and maybe boys, someday, who treat her right. Friends who aren't afraid to say they are her friend. Friends who will stick with her through thick and thin. Friends who will listen to her secrets and keep them close to their hearts.

Mean girls are a part of life's lessons. I know this is only the beginning. I hope my daughter realizes sooner rather than later that she can rise above that. She has good friends. True friends. She is too good of a person to be ignored.

Pour Your Heart Out

How to ruin a potential friendship

Attend, as well as host, a Tupperware party.

In mid-August, a girl from a bar my mom frequents was hosting a Tupperware party. We shall call this girl Tami. Not wanting to go alone, my mom invited me. I was quite excited because I wasn't sure if Tupperware even existed anymore.

The consultant, we shall call her Barbie, was a little too bubbly for my taste. But that doesn't mean we didn't enjoy ourselves. We saw some of the newest products, had some wicked good salsa, and my mom even "won" a necklace. Quotes because she didn't get to keep the necklace, but she could keep what was inside the mini container of a charm. Provided she host a party, of course.

At the end of the party, my mom and I filled out our order forms and chose a date for the party. Guess who got suckered into co-hosting said party? Ya, this girl. We chose a date in mid-September and were told by Barbie she would contact us when she returned from her training in Disney (oh-la-la). She was leaving the following day.

Two weeks pass and my mom and I are beginning to wonder where our products were and when we would hear from Barbie. I turned to the Tupperware website, which happens to be crap. I have an easier time contacting blog owners than someone from the Tupperware corporate office! But I did discover that products take 9 business days to ship. We should have had our products by then, but decided to give it a few more days.

Week three. We finally hear from Barbie, consultant extraordinaire. She says our party is all set up and ready to go. She would send one of us books and order forms within a few days so we could try to get outside orders. I inquired about our products. Our products were shipped directly to Tami because we opted out of the extra cost to have them shipped to us. That little $4.50 option was never explained to us.

This is where everything really started to go downhill.

My mom didn't get to the bar until later that week, when she was finally able to grab our products from Tami's car. Tami had been driving around with our stuff for almost 3 weeks by this point. She had our phone numbers, yet never called. She knew my mom's "friend", who goes there more than my mom, yet Tami never mentioned anything to him. Our books and order forms arrived the following week, 4 days before our party. Two books, order forms we couldn't read, and 4 days does not do well when trying to get outside orders, thankyouverymuch!

By now I was ready to cancel the party, but I sucked it up. If I would have known Barbie was going to talk for 4 damn hours at the party, I definitely would have canceled. We only had 5 people, and that's including my mom and I! She's lucky the party wasn't at my house or I surely would have kicked her out, products and all. Well, most of them.

We closed our party a week later. There were a few more bumps in the road, but not even a week after closing, our products arrived. Thank goodness this debacle was over!

Or so I thought.

Because my mom ordered stuff from Tami, she returned the favor. But instead of giving my mom her order, she gave it directly to Barbie. They're like BFFs or something. We only figured out Tami's order by process of elimination. Since my mom doesn't go to Tami's bar very often, she thought she would return the favor by driving around with her products in the car until she saw her.

Turns out Tami isn't a fan of this being done to her. Tami wants her special water pitcher. Tami has called Barbie, who has sent a text to my mom as well as calling me. We both explained that Tami will get her stuff. We're not sure when, but it will be by the end of the week. I really didn't want to wait a month for my new pitcher either. Karma. That's all I have to say.

And after all of this, Barbie didn't seem to understand why I don't want to be on her team as a consultant. We could all use a little extra money, but sorry honey. I'm not that desperate!

Because I know at least one girl from my party who sometimes reads this, thank you so much for helping me out by ordering and booking a party. I really hope your party goes over just as well as mine did, minus all the talking. But please don't be offended if I don't physically come. I'm not sure I can spend anymore time in the same room as Barbie!