Monthly Archives: September 2008

Can You Give $5 to a School in Need?

Ok, raise your hand.

How many of you have kids? Yup, so do I.

Oh, no? Ok. How many of you went to public school? Yup me too.

How many of you think every child should have equal access to books, supplies, playground equipment and technology at school? Heck, yeah.

How many of you have five dollars? Shoot, even *I’ve* got that.

…How many of you might even have a little more? Ok, stop laughing.

Here’s the deal folks. You all know how hung up on giving I have been recently. Well, I guess I have been making enough racket about it that I was approached about a wonderful cause. It is called the 2008 Bloggers Challenge. is a non for profit website aimed at collecting wish lists from teachers at schools in need. The website organizes and lists their needs based on state, poverty level, subject, etc. Then folks who have a little to give come and visit the site, pick a project, and donate to it. Easy as that. Donations can even be as low as $5 and all donations are tax deductible. Very cool, huh? (More details about how it works can be found here.)

And how do bloggers get involved? Well, we get to promote the site from our blog. (And no, we don’t make a dime off of this, I promise you.) We simply get to encourage all of *YOU* readers to visit their site and donate. And I have even taken the liberty of setting up a special “Morningside Mom Givers” page. This afternoon, I went through the site and dug out four projects that seemed to resonate with me.

What was I looking for? That was tough. It seemed so arbitrary to pick projects and decide which were more worthy than others. I finally decided to look into lower income schools in Florida and I found five really interesting projects. I encourage you all to go onto the site and read about them.

One is looking to provide children instruments in a North Miami school.

One simply needs books because they have practically none.

One is looking for P.E. equipment at a school with no playground, one ball and 1/3 of their students are overweight.

One is looking for technology to bring math alive to her students.

One is looking to buy “green” books to help educate students about recycling in their communities.

All of the projects together have put a total for our Morningside Mom Givers Project at $3,000. I am asking you to give a little when you can. Has anyone joined the 29 day Giving Challenge I have been obsessed with? This would SO count. And so would spreading the word about my page. See if you can get some others to check this out and donate if possible. It’s a wonderful cause. I sincerely hope you will consider visiting our page and learning more.

And I am also planning on some sort of incentive for giving. I am not sure what it will be. Possibly a raffle for a give-away. Or maybe I will promise to do something crazy for all of you to laugh at. Last year one blogger dressed up as a tomato and danced through Rockefeller Square when they reached their goal. Oh the possibilities, huh? I’ll keep you posted. Any suggestions are always welcome.

Thanks in advance to every Morningside Mom Giver!

Note: I’d have a cool widget up if I could get it to work. Instead go click on the simple text widget on the right panel if you ever need to find our page!


Filed under Bloggers, Children,, Education, Florida, Money, Philanthropy, Raising Awareness

You can do it, Sarah!

Maybe all this bailout mess has left me twitched out and over stressed. I am not sure I am thinking in the right state of mind. That’s gotta be it. Because here’s the thing. I am sort of suddenly rooting for Sarah a little bit right now.

Egads! Has my evil twin taken over my blog? No, I swear. It’s still me.

Heres the thing. It is becoming decidedly clear that Sarah is not at all prepared to be the Vice President of the United States, let ALONE (…choking on my Cheerios here…) POTUS. …Shudder. And I am also thinking that most of you agree, even my repub readers. Sarah’s knowledge base has been tested over the past few days in interviews with Katie and Charlie. If you haven’t seen the interviews, check them out. I kind of can’t watch them more than once. It’s just the cringe factor, the “Oh my God, she really doesn’t know what she’s talking about, does she” thing, you know? But you should watch them, no matter which party you belong to.

And now Sarah will debate Joe Biden on Thursday. As I type this, there is no doubt she is studying like a mad woman, with coaches in her ear and stacks of talking points spread out all around her. Maybe even flash cards. Or timed tests while someone holding a stop watch stands over her shoulder. All the while, she’s dressed in a sweat suit with the Rocky theme song playing in the background.

And, to be fair, I would bet Biden is going through his own preparation too: “Don’t talk too much, Joe.” “Be cool, Joe.” “You know what you’re talking about, just stick to the facts.” “The responses are timed, Joe, don’t forget that!”

But, holy canoli, Sarah’s preparation is an impossible task. Just as Joe Biden did, she came in knowing what she knows and she, unfortunately, just doesn’t know enough. And that’s not necessarily her fault either. It’s McCain’s fault for not picking a more qualified candidate. And now her ignorance and ineptitude is being uncovered and displayed for all the world to see, question in disblief, or even laugh at.

I just can’t imagine. Perhaps I am simply relating to her as a woman and mom right now, trying to do too much, and knowing that no matter how hard she works, it’s never good enough. Being this far in over her head, how must she be feeling right now? 

And Joe Biden, Mr. “I’ve been in the senate since I was 29 and I can talk circles around you”, is smacking his lips, ready to rip the holes in her knowledge base even wider. If I were Sarah, I’d be crying in my glass of wine at night, I’d be sick to my stomach nervous and entirely overwhelmed and ready to hop the first plane back to Alaska.

But here’s my other dilema. Is my assumption that she is crying in her wine completely unfeminist of me? Am I being too soft on her? Would I be saying the same thing if she were a male? Am I underestimating her abilities? I truly don’t think so. If anything, as a woman, I actually gave her the benefit of the doubt thinking she could seriously be the Republican’s secret weapon. And now. No. That’s not the case. She’s just a person not prepared to be Vice President, as simple as that.

Here’s the thing, however – I really don’t WANT her to fail. No, I mean it. Please note that it is not my intention to come across snarky, condescending or patronizing here. I mean what I am saying. I WANT her to be good enough for this position. I don’t want to see a train wreck on Thursday – that will not make me feel good. I’d like to see a good solid debate with too qualified individuals sparring off on the issues, both on equal ground. (And of course, notes the Democrat in me, then see her loose fair and square.)  Honestly folks, I don’t want to see someone – who could very well potentially be POTUS afterall – be so damn clueless. And I’ll also admit, the idea of a woman finally being so close to the White House potentially failing so miserably makes me sick to my stomach. Amoungst everything else going on right now, Sarah Palin is just plain old scaring the crap outa me.

So Sarah, c’mon woman. You can do this. Show us what you’ve got. Let them be wrong. I won’t be on your side politically but I will be rooting for you. You’re Rocky, Biden is Mr. T – come out preprared and swinging. Let’s have a good clean fight.


Filed under Election, Feminist tendancies, Joe Biden, McCain, Politics, Sarah Palin

My 29 Day Giving Challenge: An Update

I have been participating in the 29 Day Giving Challenge for 11 days now and here I am to report back about my experience. So how have I been doing with it? Honestly, it’s been a great part of my daily life so far.

What have I given? Well, it depends. Here are some examples:

  • Babysitting for neighbors
  • Small donations to the Houston Red Cross
  • A surprise ice cream cone for my son after school
  • Helping a friend with her resume
  • Making muffins for my playgroup
  • Doing work for my son’s teacher
  • Offering my friendship to that mom I always see and never introduce myself to

The list goes on. And it’s small things too. Not just getting glasses of milk for just my kids, but all the kids in the room. Making sure my husband can get a morning or two to sleep in as much as possible. Letting someone else have that parking space, I can walk a few more steps. For me, its been so much about remembering not to be the opportunist all the time, watching only my back, looking out for only myself. I get exactly what I need without butting to the front of the line every time and grabbing what I need.

Also, when I began this challenge, I was sort of hard on myself. I thought I would have to come up with things I wouldn’t normally do, and really go out of my way. But then I stood back and reminded myself about the spirit of this challenge. We have to just remember to give, in any way that we know how. It’s about being in the habit of giving and thinking of others. And I surprised myself when I realized how much giving I normally do anyway. But now I am keeping track of it all and just making sure something happens everyday. It really feels good and I have kind of become obsessive about it. In fact, friends joke “Oh! that can be one of your giving things!” If they haven’t joined themselves, they are having fun watching me participate.

Just one other note. Being a mother is entirely about giving. To work yourself up to a challenge like this as a mother can be hard. After spending your entire day caring for and giving to someone else, to think about giving even further is exhausting. I think we all crave time to be selfish and give to ourselves. But I would also challenge ourselves to reach beyond that level of giving we are already competent at. We can stretch ourselves to give just that small bit more, it is always possible.

And I would also argue that we mothers forget to give to ourselves a lot. In fact, taking care of yourself might be one of your lower priorities. Whose to say that you shouldn’t try giving to yourself on one day if you never ever take the chance to do that? It’s just a thought.

Finally, for the 29 Giving Challenge team to reach their goal of 2,000 members participating in the challenge by September 29th, they simply need 270 more “givers”. If you haven’t joined, consider it. It’s a fascinating journey to be on and satisfying to realise how much giving we do and can incorporate in our lives.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Filed under Causes, Educating myself, Family, Philanthropy, Self-analysis, Uncategorized

That’s Not My Golden Parachute.

Take a look at the backyard in this picture. That is what a backyard in Florida looks like if it has not been mowed since April. That is my former neighbor’s backyard. That backyard looks like a lot of yards around here these days. No one is home. No one can afford to be.

We bought our house 3 years ago, almost to the month. We bought our home when real estate was booming. At the time, we signed on to pay a mortgage for about what our house was worth. At the time. Ok, maybe we paid a couple thousand dollars extra. The owner had just put in new pergo floors after all and, as my Realtor insisted, inventory was low. We didn’t have many options out there that we could afford anyway. We did love the neighborhood, the floors were lovely, and the view was stunning. We signed on the dotted line.

And by the grace of my real estate gardian angel, we even snagged ourselves a 30 year fixed mortgage with a good interest rate. PHEW.

Sure, there were some pretty enticing ARM loan options. “Balloon” this and “loan on top of loan” that. Our mortgage could be reduced by $500 or more a month! Hey, not to worry, with how well real estate is doing, we could afford to refinance in 5 years with no problem! Think of all the equity we would have made on our home by then! You could afford something bigger, better, with a pool, a fancy gated community, oh the possibilities (I could practically see the bank folks rubbing their hands together, dollar bill signs in their eyes)!

Eh. Geez. I don’t think so. This is our first house. We really don’t want to get too complicated. Call us boring, call us conservative, I think we’ll just stick to a 30 year fixed, thanks.

And 3 years later we sit. Paying our mortgage, our expensive mortgage, right on time. Yup, a mortgage that is more than what this house is worth – probably by about $50,000. And I think I am being conservative again.

So yeah, this bail out. Sure. I do feel like this is unfair. I do feel like we were good boys and girls, we followed the rules, we were conservative, we didn’t get greedy, we bought a home within our means (kinda) and continue to pay off this house – a house worth less than what we pay.

So it certainly seems unfair that our tax dollars go to these big wig fancy banks, who were rolling in it years ago while we scraped together our home’s down payment. So so unfair. Why do I need to take care of them while I pass on a new dishwasher because I want to pay *my* expensive mortgage, so I don’t lose my home, so my backyard doesn’t look like the one in the picture above?

Here’s the insane part. Are you ready? You may not hear this often. But last night, I actually didn’t disagree with what Bush had to say. I guess his layman’s terms spelled it right out for once, simplifying it the way it needed to be. Our Prez said that if we don’t go along with this bail out, its really reeeeeally gonna hit the fan. If I don’t pay for this now, I will pay for it ten fold eventually. Gotcha W. I don’t want to pull my savings out, hide it in my mattress and guard my door with a shotgun. Ok, so I am being dramatic (I hope) but the message was loud and clear none the less. For once, I don’t think he was pulling his usual fear mongering tactics. (Although, I kind of wish he was.)

It sucks. Its not fair. It doesn’t sit well. I worry about the politicing going down. I worry about how the hell we will ever pay this back. This seems like an over-reaction. I mean, SEVEN HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS!?!?!!

(Where is Dr. Evil in all of this, pinky to the corner of his mouth. Seven hundred billion dollars? What does that even mean?? Thats like saying a million trillion billion gabillion dollars… muahahahaaa…)

But what choice do we have? None. I need to just keep on paying my mortgage, I need to remember to be grateful that I actually have a roof over my head, and I need to not be surprised that our government always has rich corporate America’s back. And yes, yes, I need to remember that if our government doesn’t have its back right now, we are SOL, in a big, scary, “depression era” kind of way.

It is what it is. As my mother always told me, life isn’t fair.

(And you know what else isn’t fair? The snakes and wildlife living in that backyard next door! Even if we were to try mowing it ourselves, I am not sure we could. Does anyone have a machete? A chain saw? A half dozen animal traps? Great googlie mooglie…)


Filed under Bush, Economy, Money, Politics, Real Estate, Reality check

Ways to Involve Your Kids in This Election.

There are only a few weeks left until we vote for our next President. Along with many other parents and citizens, I am nervous but hopeful about election day. But in the midst of all of this political chatter, how much do your children really understand about our upcoming election? Do they know who our candidates are? Do they understand our priveledge and right to vote? Would you even know how to engage them in a conversation about the election? I certainly wasn’t very sure, so I went hunting for some resources – and I would like to share them with all of you.

Now, what inspired me to look for these election resources exactly? The other morning I took a stab at explaining this election to my 5 year old. We were watching some highlights of an Obama rally on CNN. My son was clearly thrilled that I had not switched over to Playhouse Disney. To try and peak his interest some I said “Do you know who that is?” “No.” His bored tone told me he was anxious to learn more. “Well, let me tell you.” I tried to explain what our president does, who the candidates were and how I will be voting on election day. Blank look. So I simply said to him, “Do you know what you should call me? An ‘Obama Mama’.” Finally a smile and then a giggle. “Obama Mama! That’s silly! Obama Mama, Obama Mama, Obama Mama. … Can I have some Kix?”

This wasn’t this first time I have tried to explain the election to my son. Granted, he is only 5. He is simply trying to figure out the politics of kindergarten – certainly, our complex presidential election may be a bit out of reach still. But it got me thinking. What resources are there for parents with children interested in learning more about the election? If you have been trying to engage your children, check out the following sites. My son might be a little young still, but yours may not be!

PBS Kids, The Democracy Project: PBS does a fantastic job of putting together a fun, interactive website where kids can learn about becoming a president for a day and how our government works. It also allows kids to get into the voters booth and share what issues matter to them.

Kids Voting USA: While more of a website for teachers, it offers election information for children in grades ranging from K-12. Scholastic does a wonderful job with their election website. Kids can vote for president, meet the candidates, read campaign news, read blogs written by kids, or even launch their own campaign for president.

Brain Pop: Looking for a straight forward video to explain the election to your kids? Check this site out.

TIME for kids: TIME magazine has a fun website with campaign games, information about the issues and even some pretty cool kid reporters sharing their own campaign experiences.

Would you like to make this election real for your kids and put together your own election and voting booth? Visit “ABC Teach” to find ballots, worksheets and directions to make your own voting booth.

The White House: The White House website offers further information for kids about our past presidents, the White House itself and even the presidential pets. Maybe you feel like coloring a president? Get out your crayons and print some of them out here!

Rock the Vote: And for your older children, sit them down to Rock the Vote. MTV makes it cool to get involved with this election.

Finally, I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read: “Kids Don’t Vote, but Moms Do!” (If you want one, please visit That statement truly inspired me. Our children and their futures matter. However, as moms, we carry the responsibility to be their only advocates. And during this election, it is no different. Our children count on us to elect their leader. Please don’t forget to register yourself to vote. And then, consider bringing your child to vote with you – what better way to learn about this historical election than to have them truly experience it for themselves!

Cross posted at Type A Mom.


Filed under Children, Election, Government, Parenting, Politics, Teaching kids

This Week: My Thoughts, Some Causes and Other Stuff.

Do you ever call a best friend or favorite aunt or your mom and just chatter endlessly? Filling almost the entire hour conversation with everything you’re doing, what you’re thinking about and what you kids did this week? Never quite taking a moment to breath and allow the other person to get a word in edgewise? 

Please tell me you do this, because I do this ALL the time.

And guess what? I consider you are all close friends of mine, so I am going yammer on here for a little bit. Inspired by my “always the link lover” friend Florinda at the 3 Rs, I want to share some links that have me thinking this week as well as just some stuff I like. I am warning you, it will be haphazard, one sided and excessively chatty. But you all don’t mind right? That’s whats friends do, at least what my wonderfully patient friends do, I guess.

First of all, Ike. Yup, the hurricane. It busted right through Texas last week, remember? I know all I saw were live garbled feeds of newscasters positioning themselves in the wind, doing their damnedest to get knocked over. (Is that like some sort of notch on a weather forecaster’s belt? To get blown over during a hurricane?)  And then I saw some pretty insane damage being reported the following day. But then little by little, I haven’t heard much else thanks to our piss-poor economy and election updates.

Well, here’s the scoop. A fabulous blogger, Julie Pippert, expereinced the hurricane for herself. Please read her plea for help here. Things there are NOT ok. And as you will read in her post, a donation to the red cross, even $5, will make an enormous difference. Please consider giving.

How much disposable stuff do you go through? How many paper towels? How many grocery bags do you stuff in your closet or throw away? How many diapers do you use? How many wipes? The Crunchy Domestic Goddess is running a Ditch the Disposables Challenge for September and October. She is asking all of us to try and cut down on some of your disposable products. My goal is to not use paper towels or paper napkins but use cloth towels and sponges. (Shoot, its partially a selfish thing, paper towels are expensive!) Also I am desperately trying to keep using those cloth grocery bags. I think I am doing pretty well with it actually! They stay on my car front seat so I have them ready to go. Also, I am using my old plastic grocery bags as my trash bags and won’t buy actual trash bags either.

Can I just make one more plea for folks? Join the 29 Day Giving Challenge! It’s really been a lot more do-able than I expected. Plus, I am having fun trying to think up a new thing to give everyday. Often I have 2 or 3 things on my list!

Um, this is kind of an obvious one (but who am I to ignore the obvious). A veeery important election is coming up. Have you registered to vote? Do me a favor and please make sure you are registered.

If you know me, you know I feel very strongly about equal rights. One of these rights is marriage – loving couples of every sexual preference deserve the right to marry. A fantastic writer and person, Lesbian Dad, is living in CA. right now with her family. Please read her blog when you can, and this post has a great video to watch. If you live in CA., vote no on Propostition 8. But you certainly don’t have to live in CA. to donate to the cause, so please consider doing that if you can’t vote. There is a long way to go to change discrimination against same sex couples. Did you know that here in Florida, a same sex couple, or single homosexual person, cannot adopt a child? It’s outrageous.

Speaking of discrimination, do you know what I have been recently stressed out about? Racism in this election. I wonder why this election is so close when Obama seems like such a strong choice. I wonder if he were white, if the spread would be larger. I wonder if this country really wants change… or can change. I know there is a post coming about this in my future but read this post here from Momocrats about individuals out rightly admitting they would never vote for a “black”. (Shudder.)

So why should you really vote for Obama? In case you still need more convincing (and assuming race has nothing to do with your decision… please, tell me it doesn’t), the amazing Queen of Spain did a fab job this week of continuing to back Obama. Read about it here. Don’t know who Queen of Spain is? If you have been watching CNN recently during both the DNC and RNC, you’ve seen her. Shoot, here she is – just a mom blogger in her own right – interviewing Obama himself.

After posting about my son C. getting his doll, I read this article here from Motherhood Uncensored about her son playing with “girl” toys. I thought it was fantastic.

Oh and hey, did you know I am writing for Type A Moms now? I am their “Liberal Moms Editor”. Perfect, huh? Here’s the funny part, I am nervous about having a grown up EDITOR title and, as a result, I am having some major writer’s block for my next (and really first ACTUAL) post. I’ll come up with something – I have ideas of course, but nothing seems good enough quite right. I just need to get into the groove of it and gather some confidence, right? Wish me luck.

Finally, I want to list some fun stuff I just plain old really like.

My 5 year old T. and I have been reading these “From the Black Lagoon” books about different people he might meet at school. They are hysterical and I really recommend them for your children if they are just starting at a new school too!

My 2 yo C. and I have just started Music Together classes. He loves them and the music is fabulous (we truly enjoy the 2 CDs you are given when you sign up, one for the car and one for home). There is great teaching about children’s development for the parents and I honestly get a workout every Friday jumping, spinning, dancing, and marching with my kid. If you’ve got the time, I wholeheartedly recommend signing up for a class with your children in your area.

Need a good gift idea for someone or for Christmas coming up? Hyper-dashis a huge hit in my house. I bought it on a whim and both kids really love it. It really gives them a work out too! Yay for tired children more likely to nap…

We recently were given a subscription to High Five Magazine. What fun for my kids to get a magazine in the mail too! They read it cover to cover, T. loves the Spanish learning section in particular.

And another adorable book that I can’t get enough of? The Peace Book. LOVE IT.

Maybe you haven’t heard of the website Starfall? It is honestly the best letter and phonics learning website out there. And that’s not just my opinion. My teacher friends, my pediatrician and my speech pathologist aunt all heartily agree. T. likes to put it on with C., teaching him the ABC’s while playing fun songs and games. Its really terrific, they are on it right now.

Oh and I saw a pretty funny movie last night that I hadn’t even heard of. The Promotion. Great actors you (and esp. your husband) love to watch: Sean William Scott (aka Stiffler) and John C. Riley. And the story is just about regular guys trying to get ahead and take care of their families. I really enjoyed it!

And…. I’m spent.

And how was your week?


Filed under Bloggers, Causes, Election, Equal Rights, Getting green, Hurricanes, Inspiring people, Marriage, Money, Movies, Obama, Philanthropy, Racism, Raising Awareness, Reccomendations, Stuff I have, Teaching kids, Toys

Three Bee Stings and a Little Crazy.

A bee flew into a craft store. No, this is not a dirty joke. This is what happened – this morning. So this bee, he flew right on in. Oh! Bright lights, lots of colors and – whats this? Aisle upon aisle of beautiful, blooming flowers! Can you imagine this bee’s glee? (I’m loving that rhyme.) He was probably flying swoops in the air and doing a little bee jig. And then, maybe after smacking his little bee lips, he dove right down into those flowers – perhaps eyeing one of those lovely, seasonally appropriate sunflowers.

Wait a minute. Upon landing, that bee realized something. The lovely sunflower didn’t smell right. In fact, it didn’t feel right. Horror of horrors, after further inspection, that bee found not one trace of pollen anywhere upon that flower. Miffed, he tried the next one. And the next. And then he realized, they were all fake! This was all a lie! A conspiracy – bees everywhere were being made fools of! Zooming around the store, his senses overwhelmed by fake flowers with no pollen, with no way to get out to the real flowers with real pollen… this bee was livid, seething, utterly enraged.

And then he spots us. He sees my son C. and I wheeling through the sliding doors. Clueless, innocently entering this store in our own right, we wheeled right by the flower section.

Just as we brushed past the glittery mums, he made his move. Attacking, taking out his rage upon a sweet, slightly plump, 2 year old who was actually behaving today for his mommy. He was going to bring “the man” (and that bee was betting “the man’s” name was Michael) down for every lovin’ fake flower in that joint.

C. grabbed his neck. And then his thumb. And SCREAMED. I was at a loss. Did a plastic flower bramble just scratch him? Did some extra large glitter on those mums cut his neck a bit? I looked and found two bites on his neck, both a bit puffy. And then, the thumb, which he was waving madly for my kiss, had that same puffy punctured bite.

What the hell? Michael’s employees gathered around, recognizing that special pitch of a child’s scream in pain. And then one woman saw it. The bee, staggering around on the floor. Probably screaming up to his pollen gods, “Why… WHY?!?!!!”

Smooooosh. And his agonizing final day on this earth was over.

Meanwhile, you should know, I am a mother of a son with a peanut allergy. I am the daughter of a man who has fatal reactions to bees. I swell for days if I get one bite. And now my son has two? On his neck? So who SHOULD be the most prepared mommy ever – with benedryl and an epipen at the ready in case of emergency? On most days, me. Not today you ask? Nope, not today. My allergy kit was home, in the swimming pool bag. Today. Of ALL days.

And when I realized this, panic set in. His screams were ear shattering, but I barely heard them. I grabbed him and made a run for my car. “Wheres the closest walgreens, WHERES THE CLOSEST WALGREENS??!?!??!?” Um, down there. Screeeeeeech, my 97 Saturn (step aside General Lee) did a Dukes of Hazard peel out of the parking lot.

And can I just say? I am usually a fiiiine driver. Honestly. I have even been complimented on my skillz before. Oh ho, NOT today. ‘Scuse me, pardon me, get the frock over, I AM COMING THROUGH DAMMIT!!!!!!

And then I thought, hearing him howl and hiccup and surely gagging and almost dying, that I should go the other way to the Urgent Care right by here. Hiccup, gasp. Oh sweet cheese and crackers… HE’S DYING!!!!!

‘Scuse me, pardon… GET OUT OF MY GODDAMN WAY MY CHILD IS DYING!!!!!!!!

Oh shit, the urgent care isn’t over here. U-TURN!!!!! SCREEEECH!!! (“Just the good ol boys, never meaning no harm…”)

Back at the same pissing redlight. Should I run it? COULD I run it? Could I? Damn, fate hands me a cop car in the right hand lane.

Then, as I am pulling into the Walgreens parking lot, watching my screaming and drooling 2 yo in the rear view mirror, a faint little bulb managed to blink on in the haze of my panic. Call the pediatrician. Oh yeah…

Well, I handled that like a pro. “My baby… stung… will he die?” Sob sob sob. Calm down she said. He is fine if he is screaming. SOBSOBSOBSOB. She said bendryl, baking soda, make sure he keeps breathing, if he doesn’t, call 911.

Wha? 911?…. SOB!!!!!!!! WAAAIIIL!!! MY BABY!!!! WAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

She shoulda been there. Really she shoulda. Because if I ever could have used a bitch slap, it would have been right about then.

So I hung up, grabbed my sweet bee punctured child, and ran for the pharmacy.

“BENEDRYL! ORAL SYRINGE! BAKING SODA! STAT!” Well, I didn’t say STAT but I should’ve, dontcha think?

I got what I needed, he got what he needed. The crying slowed. He was breathing. Oh lookee here, I was breathing. I even managed to fish a smooshed fruit bar out of my purse. Which he ate, smiling through boogers while caked bits of baking soda fell off his neck into his lap as he chewed.

We sang his favorite bumblebee song.

“I’m bringing home my baby bumblebee, won’t my mommy be so proud of me…”

He pointed to the scary monstews in the Halloween section and giggled.

All was well.

All was even better when he drowsily nodded off from the drugs in my car. I’ll be putting a mirror to his mouth to just make SURE I didn’t overdose the kid (I was a little shaky, maybe he got more than a teaspoon?) as soon as I press publish. (My priorities as a mom are right in check.)

But here’s my bottom line. It was a bee sting. OK, three bee stings. (And I am thinking maybe it was a wasp and not a bee, how can a bee sting three times?) But kids get stung. IT HAPPENS. And how did I deal with this fairly minor first aid incident? I flipped the FROCK out.

What am I going to do? When the stitches and the broken legs and the rest of it happens. (I have two boys, its not a matter of *if* , its a matter of when.) That epipen BETTER stay in my purse because judging from today’s complete and total over reaction, *I* will need a shot of epinephrine and a call to 911 more than my child with a broken limb will. I did a horrible job today. I screamed at stop lights, I panicked and drove all over the place, I cried as if *I* were the one stung when talking to the triage nurse. I looked like a craaazzeee woman tripping and running through Walgreens with my screaming kid, holding onto my shirt, now exposing most of one bra cup. What a fiasco. GET A GRIP WOMAN!!!

Maybe it takes practice. Maybe I need to read more stories of inspiring “keeping their shit together when scary stuff happens” moms likes this one and this one. Maybe if it were MORE than a bee sting but something really legit like a gaping wound, I would be cool, and totally together and summon the spirit of Miranda Bailey (my favorite Greys Anatomy character) and it would all be taken care of quickly, calmly and effiently. And I would even say “STAT”.

Who am I kidding. I am a fiasco in emergency situations, and thats that.

Thank God for triage nurses and 911. And vodka.


Filed under Boys, Health, parental fear

29 Days of Giving.

As you all know, my friend’s story of charity was very inspiring for me. I was truly moved. And then, after reading my post, my blogger friend Mary from Everyday Baby Steps shared the link for the 29 Day Giving Challenge in her comment. I took a look. Wow. If I was ever inspired to get on board with a cause such as this one, it would be now.

Here’s the deal. For 29 days, I need to give something to someone every day. It does not need to be something of great value. It can be support, a hug, a favor, moving someones garbage cans off the road, spending more time with your children than you normally would, and on it goes. What is important here is the spirit of the gift and how it changes your own outlook on life.

Is this challenge starting to peak your interest? Then, go to the website, watch the video and really absorb what this is all about.

And I have to be honest, I was a little intimidated by this challenge. First of all, we aren’t exactly rolling in it these days. I am holding on to every tiny bit I have to get by. So what do I have to give? What could little ol’ me possibly give? Money is easy, but I don’t really have money to give. So I need to be creative. I need to *think* about what I can do to bring a little positivity into someones life – every day. FOR 29 DAYS. Egad.

All day yesterday, I hemmed and hawed about whether I could really do this. Am I selfless enough to be that thoughtful? Everyday? Am I even that nice?

Aw, c’mon Caroline. Buck up, you can do a little something more everyday for someone.

And you know what else I really like about this whole challenge? Its all about fostering good karma. Yeah, bring on good karma, I love that stuff

So, ok then. I’m in.

Now first of all, I want to be sure I do something I wasn’t planning on doing anyway. For instance, I can’t say giving my children dinner would count. As awesome as I think I am for toiling over that stove (er, microwave) – for me, that act of “charity” doesn’t really count (not that my kids would agree carrot sticks are exactly charity anyway).

Hmmm. So what am I going to give today? Yikes, I don’t know. We’ll see how the day unfolds. But you can be sure I will let you know. I am going to keep track of what I do everyday and then check in here once a week and give you a quick summary of how I am doing.

So. How about it? Yup, now I am looking at you. Are you in? Are you up for the 29 day challenge? If you are in, let me know! I need a “Giving Posse” of sorts. So come along for the ride and join the cause. And be sure to share your ideas! I still need to come up with something for today, for cripes sakes…

Happy Giving!


Filed under Inspiring people, Karma, Money, Philanthropy, Raising Awareness, Self-analysis

SNL Gets it Right for Hillary.

SNL cracks me up with their own Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

I am sure many of you have seen this clip already.

Oh man. I just watched it again. Now THAT is what I call GOOD television. Phew.

Not that any of us were surprised by how dead on Tina Fey would be for a Sarah look-alike. I am thinking Lorne Michaels did everything in his power to get her to come back for this one. But if I were Tina? Oh, I’d have been fired UP to work that imitation to perfection. And she did. Applause all around.

But it wasn’t the Sarah Palin/Tina Fey thing that got me here. It was what SNL was trying to say between the lines. It was Hillary and what is probably really going on with her right now. 

They so get it, don’t they?

SNL Sarah: Just look at how far we’ve come. Hillary Clinton who came so close to the White House and me, Sarah Palin, who is even closer.”

Seriously, can you imagine what is going through Hillary’s mind???

Hillary jumped into her campaign many moons ago with both eyes wide open. She’s a smart lady, I’d even agree with calculating (which can be a positive thing, seriously) – she knew what she was doing. She lined herself up for the nomination and busted her hump to get it. I know we dems harped on this quite a bit at the DNC but I’ll say it one more time – she ran a great campaign. And she lost by a hair, a wee few Obama lovin’ delegates hairs really. And while folks have noted sexism went down during it all (I’m one of those folks), still, she lost fair and square. What a shock for her, an incredible loss.

Then the DNC comes along. She truly becomes the star – the hero – of the show. What is Hill gonna say? How is she going to convince her supporters to vote for Obama? Don’t you remember? The orange pantsuit? Bill mouthing “I love you”s from the crowd. Her kick ass speech? And THEN the dramatic final nomination as she handed over her delegates?

Wow. This woman lost the nomination but it was suddenly HER responsibility to make sure the democrats win this presidency. No doubt about it, Obama needs her support like a fat guy needs cake. So she had to ride that DNC storm with dignity, with grace and with purpose. In the midst of her own personal loss and frustration, she had to convince an army of women that they had to vote for the other guy. She may have lost me at the end of her campaign but, no doubt about it, I have boatloads of respect for this incredible woman.

So, ok. Now the DNC is over. She knows she has to stay on the campaign trail but thats nothing compared to the drama of the DNC, right?

Well, in steps Sarah Palin.

Who??? Oh, right, the Governor of Alaska. Yeah.The obvious choice for McCain, right? I am sure he has… valid… reasons for his choice.

And not only is this wild card an overnight celebrity, but in one sudden moment, SHE is closer than Hillary ever got to becoming the first woman president of the united states. Wha…?

SNL Sarah: “Its truly amazing and I think women everywhere can agree, no matter your politics, its time for a woman to make it to the White House.”

SNL Hillary: “Noooooo, MINE!!!!”

Yeah, Hillary, how are you not flipping the freak OUT right now? And as the SNL skit points out, maybe Hillary didn’t even care about being a woman president – or at least that was never the priority of her campaign (as it shouldn’t be). She just wanted to be PRESIDENT for crying out loud. She is a smart, knowledgeable woman, well versed in politics, been waaaaay down the road and back when it comes to life in the Oval Office. And here comes Sarah Palin? Stepping off a plane fresh from the north pole, hair piled to here, blinking at the world around her with not. a. clue. about how to run the free world. Great google mooglie.

And Hillary, after ALL that she has accomplished, is left to re-invent herself and figure out some kind of “Al Gore” comback story.

SNL Sarah: “And now I am just one heartbeat away from becoming the President of the United States. It just goes to show you that anyone can be president.

SNL Hillary: “Anyone. ANYONE. ANYONE!!!

SNL Sarah: “All ya have to do is WANT IT.”

SNL Hillary: Insane giggles…. “Yeah, if I could change one thing, I should have wanted it more.”

Hillary, how are you not losing your mind right now? Are you thinking the world has gone mad? Are you asking – just like I am – how the novelty of a lipstick wearing, pit bullish, hockey mom in the white house is so much more of a draw for votes? Because, really, who cares about her stand on the real issues or what kind of president she could make, she is in the PTA, JUST LIKE ME!!!!

Hillary, do the voices keep you up at night? Are you in therapy? Maybe a nice trip away to a buddist temple or something very remote and very grounded might do you some good once this election is over. I am worried about you.

But here is the bottom line though folks. Pay attention. This is really important: Sarah Palin is not – I repeat – is NOT running for president. That guy to her right, not First Dude, nope, the other one. McCain. Yeah HIM. He’s running for President. And Hillary Clinton is also not running for president, Obama is, with her full support. Let’s keep our eye on the ball.

One final note. SNL Hillary invites the media to grow a pair or she will lend them hers. SNL, tsk tsk. That’s the one thing you got wrong. Testicles are clearly not what are going to get it done around here these days. Women, the voters and the candidates, are the ones making this election spin. I would invite the media to actually grow a set of ovaries to find out where the real strength lies in the midst of this very historical, however maddening, race for the presidency.


Filed under Election, Feminist tendancies, Hillary Clinton, McCain, Obama, Politics, Reality check, Sarah Palin

P.S. I Heart Writing AND School, Do You?

Thanks to Everyday Baby Steps for cluing me in this morning. Oh this sounds so interesting…

Sparkplugging is offering a free on-line freelance writing class!

And here I sit, clapping my hands together with glee. (Hercules! Hercules!)

Ok, calm down. Let me explain. Clearly, I am kind of all over the place this morning and not being very fluid with my writing here.

Jeez, do you think I might be a good candidate for an on-line writing class?

Do you think you might be too?

Heres the scoop. There is a freelance writers on-line class for folks just starting out (me… that’s ME!) and now they have been cool enough to offer a free class to anyone who enters their contest. The website is Sparkplug U. , the class is here and the contest can be found here .

(Me!!! Pick me!!!! …Yes I wore super dorky glasses for a long time and, yes, I did like school sometimes.)

But (full disclosure here, I am alllll about full disclosure) to get another chance to be selected, I need to post about it here.

And, honestly, I do think it is a very cool opportunity and hope it at least benefits a reader or friend blogger. So, for real, if you get the class, I will be super happy for you. I swear. Cross my heart and hope to die (um, not really DIE but you know what I mean).

So yeah. That’s it. And you all can stop rolling your eyes at me, telling me I am such a dork for liking school too. School is cool! Seriously. … what?

We’ll return back to our regularly scheduled blogging. I’ll be back with more later today… (And see, I’m actually posting more! Are you so damn proud of me or what?)

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Filed under Contests, Educating myself, Uncategorized