Monthly Archives: October 2008

Happy Halloween: Yes We Carve!

From my spooky little spot in Florida, here’s wishing you and yours a very happy Halloween!

Here are a few pics from pumpkin carving last night in my household!

(Get your own “Yes We Carve” Stencil here.)


Filed under Obama, Photographs, Silliness

The Top Ten Reasons I Voted for Obama

It finally happened. I voted today. As an democrat and American citizen, I could not be more proud to cast my vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. However, as a fellow American or global citizen, you may potentially be asking me: Why? Why did I decide to vote for the Obama/Biden ticket? With November 4th only days away, I thought I would share with you my own personal reasons for voting for Barack Obama to become the President of the United States.

1) The Economy. You and I know that our economic troubles are extraordinarily complex. Neither candidate is going to have an easy go at fixing these issues. However, I believe Obama’s focus on creating new jobs, supporting small businesses, holding banks and lenders accountable, and providing tax relief to middle America will certainly make an enormous impact. He is not about protecting the wealthy elite, he is about creating job opportunities and supporting hard working regular middle class folks – like me.

2) The Environment. We need alternative energy resources. We need to quit our addiction to oil and focus on more environmentally friendly transportation options. We all need to be held accountable for our planet. Obama takes our environmental issues seriously. However, he also sees this crisis as an opportunity to create new jobs and empower our own nation to reverse the damage done.  By putting our greatest minds and entrepeneurs on task, I expect we will discover clean energy solutions and escape out from under the thumb of foreign oil companies in the near future.

3) The Supreme Court. During the next four to eight years, it is very likely that the President will have to appoint one or more supreme court justices. As a woman who firmly supports a woman’s right to choose, I believe Barack Obama would appoint Supreme Court justices who will serve fairly and protect my rights as a woman.

4) Foreign Relations. It’s time for a President who can put the United States first while also respecting the countries that support and work along side us. It’s time for a President who cares less about his ego and more about diplomatically and sensitively working out peaceful solutions.  Its time for a President who thinks before he shoots. As a South African friend of mine recently noted, the world is watching and hoping for Obama.

5) The Iraq War. This war was a mistake. We need to be held accountable for this war – and the damage it has left in its wake. And then we need to bring our troops home safely. It will not be an easy task and troops cannot be pulled out immediately. But Obama has a plan to actually bring our troops home within 16 months, including phased deployment and more emphasis on diplomacy.

6) No more hate. I am so exhausted by the hate in our country. Offensive, from the gut, hateful emotions have boiled to the surface recently unveiling our country’s true discriminatory colors. Obama will be an important example as he guides this nation away from divisive, destructive leadership and towards healing and resolution. It’s time.

7) Education. Obama believes in recruiting capable teachers and compensating them appropriately. He is working towards making a college education affordable for everyone. A priority will be integrating parents into the education process, encouraging them to play a more active role in their child’s learning. Obama also wants to reform the half hearted attempt at No Child Left Behind.

8 ) Women. Obama will work towards equal pay for women in the workplace. Both nationally and internationally, he will stand behind victims of domestic abuse as well as HIV positive women and their children. He will put an emphasis on women’s health care research. He will also protect a woman’s reproductive rights and her right to choose.

9) Biden would be an able president. If something were to happen to Obama, God forbid, I feel that Joe Biden is 100% capable and ready to lead this country.

10) A leader I trust. Obama communicates a steady, strong, smart, honest sort of leadership to me. Yeah, he’s a younger candidate and he’s newer to the game. However, I would rather have a sensible, capable person of solid character in office, than an erratic, inconsistent, temperamental Washington good ol’ boy.

Every American has an obligation to vote for their President. And every voter bases their choice on their own perceptions, opinions and retained bits of information. The reasons I have listed are simply my own. This is where I have landed after processing all the information thrown at me during an exhaustive election year. My reasons may or may not jibe with your reasons or choice for President. Never the less, from where ever you sit, you have the right to your own opinions. And it’s time to act on them. Be the change you want to see. Please vote by November 4th.

Cross posted at Type A Moms.


Filed under Economy, Education, Election, Equal Rights, Feminist tendancies, Gas, Getting green, Government, Inspiring people, McCain, Obama, Politics, Raising Awareness, Renewable energy, Women

A Voter’s Makeover

Before this blogger voted, she was simply a sad head case. Bad outgrown hair with pathetic remnants from last spring’s highlights. Lost in frenzied election news coverage, holiday preparations and various deadlines. Blogging here and there – just to cope. Wringing her hands and ever stressed, would she make it to the polls? Would she ever have the chance to brave the lines without her two year old in tow? Would she ever finally have her say in this utterly insane national event we call the Presidential election?

And now look at her! She voted and – VOILA! – she is a new woman! With decently presentable hair too! Even after her backyard was demolished by a pack of hogs (see left of picture below), she is positive, she is hopeful, she believes her vote made a difference.

And you know what else this blogger got with her voter makeover? A new gig. This voting mama is writing over at Being Savvy Tampa now. Come check me out whenever you’d like. I am over there everyday.

So my point is – go vote. You never know how casting your ballot might change your life! I know the haircut and new blogging gig were a happy coincendence (…Or were they? Perhaps I have earned good voters karma?) but here’s hoping you get the same positive outlook afterwards… but without the pack of hogs.


Filed under Being Savvy, Election, Karma, Silliness, Wild Boar

Wordless Wednesday: Wild Boar Caught on Film

Last time, all we saw was the damage. This time, the boar, feral pig, whatever the heck you wanna call them, attacked our lawn in broad daylight. My mother was home babysitting my napping son while I dared go get a haircut. And as she casually walked into the living room, she looked out the window and saw this sow and her five babies rooting through my previously patched up and carefully fertilized backyard. Being a blogger’s mother, before she shooed them off, she grabbed her camera. “I knew you’d want to blog about this!” Right she was.

Of ALL things. This pig had to be a mama. With five babies.

What am I going to do????

Initially they weren’t scared of my mother’s shooing but eventually they ran off.

And left one third of my back yard in utter shambles.


Filed under Florida, Photographs, Wild Boar, Wildlife

Having a little Election Fun.

As I write this post, I am watching my usual political pundits review today’s electoral goings on. They are updating me about the sound bites, the polls, the accusations and the tensions sourrounding this presidential campaign. Like so many Americans these days, I am all kinds of fired up. Posts of the liberal kind are tumbling around in my brain, willing my fingers to type.

*Deep breaths*

Enough already, its time to take it down a notch. For a change of pace, I would like to share some election fun with you. Lets have some laughs, let’s allow for some silliness and enjoy some light hearted looks at this presidential campaign so far. Not convinced yet? I’ll even promise you some ice cream for your troubles. So turn off those pundits, read on and have a laugh – I know I sure need to.

So, here is what I am going to do. Over the past couple weeks, I have been collecting funny links that have given me a chuckle. Mostly, my finds are of the democratic and Obama persuation, but all are worth a look and a laugh.

Halloween and Obama come together at this wonderful site: Yes We Carve. Do you have a hankering to carve a Barack-o-latern? Find the pumpkin sculptor within you and then post your pictures at their site. They even have stencils you can download for a more easy carving experience!

I don’t know about you, but I sure could use a calming, life sized likeness of Obama for my living room. On tough election days, days like today when I hear McCain is eeking out a lead over Obama in my state of Florida, this might be exactly what I need. BO can stare at me across the room and assure me that his lead in the polls will remain. Perhaps his likeness could inspire even my children: “Yes, we *CAN* eat our broccoli!” (Cue cheers, signs and confetti now.)

Did you realize your vote counts not only for your family and your children – but your vote counts for your pets too? Grab your pooch, some kleenex and get all patriotic while watching this “Pets for Obama” YouTube clip. Oh and don’t leave the dog out of election fun either with this cute t-shirt.

Have you ever played the game Stratego? Well, have you ever wanted to play a presidential election style stratego-like video game? Well, now you can at! You pick you presidential nominee and then you can choose your staff, each armed with their own under-handed campaign skills. Your mission? To gain the control over each U.S. region and eventually win all of your nation’s votes. Beware, this game is hard – but fun for the campaign manager hiding in each of us!

Is there a birthday coming up? Do you need to brighten someone’s day with an e-card? I’ve got your political e-cards right here, thanks to good ol’ Jib Jab. My fav? “Sentence structure with Sarah Palin”.

In case you have been living on the moon and have NOT seen any of the Saturday Night Live bits, NBC has all of their videos online for your viewing pleasure. Make their site a favorite and replay them when O’Reilly has you screaming into your couch pillow again. (Or am I the only one who does that?)

I assume all of you are planning to vote, correct? And I assume all of you love ice cream? And now the two shall meet. (Cue heavenly light from above and angels singing.) Ben and Jerry’s is offering free ice cream on November 4th to anyone who voted. That alone is almost enough of an incentive to vote. …ALMOST.

And finally, the funniest bits of election humor I have seen yet are the speeches both John McCain and Barack Obama gave last week at the Alfred E. Smith fundraiser dinner. Of course, I thought Obama’s was better (shocking, I know) but I would encourage you to watch both. On the evening following a very stressful debate, both candidates proved that they could find some very funny common ground during this event.

My friends (to quote a certain republican nominee), it’s been a very long, exhausting, emotional election year. And with only days left until November 4th, I don’t expect it will get much easier. Let’s try to take a moment, find the humor in all that we do, and be good to our neighbors – no matter whose political sign they’ve got posted out on their front lawns.

Cross posted at Type A Moms.


Filed under Cheesy stuff I like, Election, McCain, Obama, Politics, Reccomendations, Sarah Palin, Silliness, TV

Get Yer Superhero Cape (and other cool stuff) Here.

Hat in hand -and I don’t even wear a hat, unless its a red sox hat, go sox, even though they lost, but I digress… Hat in hand, eyes on the floor, head bowed – I step before my wonderful readers to officially apologize for being a slow poster these days. (Shaking my head at myself.) My last two posts have had days in between them! Not good, not good at all. But I promise you, I have had a good excuse! I will officially give you the scoop once I am officially official and officially up and running. 😉


However! I do have some good stuff to share with you right now. See, I love supporting moms who are getting it done on their own – starting businesses from nothing, following a passion, bringing home the bacon while raising their sprouts. I want to get up on soapboxes for these women and give them a WOOT WOOT! So, being the blogger that I am, I will scramble up on top of this post to declare my support for a few moms trying to get some momentum with their terrific businesses.

(And full-disclosure, I haven’t gotten any freebies for promoting them either. I just think their stuff is cool.)

Moms Rock On: Cute Mommy t-shirts

A whole bunch of my playgroup and music class moms wear T-shirts from this local Tampa mommy. She sells T-shirts with such great sayings as: “Veggie Enforcer” or “Sleep Deprived” or “I make a mean PG&J”. Please check them out. And hurry to order! They are offering free shipping in October!

Baby Pop: Get a personalized super hero cape! (See them in picture above.)
Ilinap from Dirt and Noise recently bought a personalized cape and mask from this site for her son. How adorable are these ideas? This mom uses high quality environmentally friendly materials too.

Hippoes Toes: Inspired by Africa!

This mom brings us a line of clothing inspired by South Africa, using South African materials. She believes in supporting fair trade and the Bug Zoo clothing line employs moms in South Africa to make high quality products. Please check out her site and products! (You know anything supporting South Africa always gets my attention.)

Your Baby for President!

Do you think your son or daughter has what it takes to run for President some day? Get them their own personalized presidential tee or onesie at this site.

My Punchbowl– The better option over Evite.

A friend forwarded this site to me recently telling me someone from our college works for this company and I should really try using is over Evite. While it looks like a bunch of guys (not moms) on the management team, they could be dads, right? And this is certainly a new product just starting up so I am giving it my props here. I really do like it and love the design options over Evite. Check it out!

Well, that’s about all I have up my sleeve… for now. More later. And I am also going to try not to get all political all the time around these parts. I used to consider this blog a nice combination of various mommy topics – politics included. Now it seems more of a political blog with some various mommy topics included. I suppose its a sign of these times but I would like more balance in my life and my blog. I swear, I will reclaim my sanity… on November 5th.

Cheers everyone!


Filed under Africa, Blog love, Reccomendations, Shopping, Uncategorized, Working moms

Are Liberal Citizens “American” Citizens?

It is not the first time that my patriotism has been called into question for being liberal. However Governor Palin’s recent comments caught me in a vulnerable moment. On the cusp of casting what may be the most important vote of my lifetime, I have never felt more proud to be an American citizen. And yet, with a mere two weeks left in the campaign, my party and my beliefs may be deemed yet again as un-American. And I think it’s time I stand up for myself as a proud citizen of this country.

We believe the best of Amierica is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working, very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and goodness and courage of everyday Americans.

Governor Palin said these words at a fund-raiser in North Carolina recently. Now, I would not argue that those she was speaking to were, in fact, “American”. But those folks at the fundraiser were certainly no more American than the families living here in the suburbs of Florida, or the Burroughs of New York City, or even on the icy plains of her own State of Alaska. Assuming that one group of citizens are “more” American than another is simply ridiculous. But her speech comes across as one more undeserved swipe at citizens who don’t fit into a certain narrow ideal of “Americanism”. In fact, liberal citizens (such as myself) have become quite used to questions about our patriotism. And raise your hand if you’ve heard the mumbled implication that you might be (cue the disgusted sneer on the accusers face): a communist. What is UP with this?

Throughout my life, I have continued an American tradition of sorts, something my forefathers did before me: I question those in authority. It is my right to do this and I consider it about as American as apple pie. And while I may have disagreed with certain politicians or some of their policies, I have never faltered in my own confidence as an American. Sure, I didn’t grow up in small town U.S.A. (I lived abroad in High School) or attend a senior prom or date a Joe Six-pack type. But I am still American, right? My perspective and background have just added to that whole “melting pot” idea, right? And as for questioning those leading this country – well, isn’t that the beauty of being American? As a democratic nation, I can question, I can express myself, I can be whomever I want to be here. God Bless this place, for real.

After September 11th, our country became very afraid and for good reason. We had been attacked and thousands of innocent people lost their lives. But the fear and hate which sprung from this attack has been frightening to witness. As the years passed and war was waged, the message was very clear: “You are either with us, or against us”. If I didn’t agree with the war, the policies of the current administration or my President: I was considered un-American. During these past few years, my American round peg has not exactly fit into this very limited, short-sighted variety of patritotic square hole. Our country’s definition of “Americanness” should not remain so simplified or single minded any longer.

I am a liberal American. I believe in equal and human rights in a democratic nation. I believe in protecting the limited resources on our planet and in our country – not destroying them. I believe in freedom of speech of every form – not intimidated silence. I believe in the right to vote, as a collective nation, to determine our leader – never denying any citizen this opporitunity. I believe in the unique diversity of this country – not polarized sameness, or fear of the unknown. I believe that all citizens, of every background, are in fact 100% American – no matter how I much I may agree or disagree with them.

Early voting has begun in many states around this country. It is time for our nation to excerise it’s right to choose it’s own leader. In the spirit of a new, redefined and multi-faceted brand of patriotism, please go out and do the most “American” thing you can do right now: vote. Let’s see what the “real” America is all about.


Filed under Election, Equal Rights, Giving respect, Government, Partisanship, Patriotism, Politics, Sarah Palin

Early Voting Benefits Everyone.

One morning, after feeling a little restless about the upcoming election, I found myself at a local Obama meeting. As invested as I’ve been in this election, I had yet to attend one. Granted the two reasons I had not been to a meeting before were sitting right besides me in the audience, my sons. Thanks to a provided supply of Dunkin Donuts, I was able to sit and listen for almost an hour. While I did have to leave early (if I couldn’t hear over my sons wrestling, no one could), I did learn one important bit of advice that I would like to share with you: please consider voting early if your state offers this option.

31 states offer their citizens the opporitunity to vote early. Click here to see if you can vote early in your state. Depending on the state, early voting is offered over a 10-14 day period ending on the Friday or Saturday before election day. For example, in Florida where I live currently, early voting begins on Monday, October 20th. Registered citizens can vote at any of the locations provided by their county, usually at county clerk offices or nearby satellite voting locations. Votes are protected, collected and counted exactly as they are on election day.

I’ll be honest with you. Before the meeting, I had never even considered the option of voting early. And while I had been vaguely aware of it as an option, I assumed voting early was strictly for folks who might be out of town on election day. Actually, in retrospect, I think I may have assumed early voting was the same as absentee voting. Yes, of course, if you are out of town, voting early or submitting an absentee ballot are good options. But voting early is a great option for all voters, whether they will be out of town or not. Why is voting early so important? Here are the reasons I was given at that meeting:

1) You can avoid the crowds. This election has got everyone ready to vote. While this is excellent news, there is no doubt that the voting polls will be crowded on November 4th. In fact, some voters might be turned off by the lines and decide not to vote after all. So if more people vote early, not only will the lines be shorter on election day, you will have already enjoyed a quick and efficient voting experience a few days prior.

2) You have the option of choosing from more than one location to vote. In my county, I know I have six different locations where I can vote at my own convenience.

3) If there is a problem and you need a provisional ballot, there is a better chance that the issue will be resolved in time for your vote to count. If you come up against a voting problem on election day, you may not be as lucky.

4) With your vote already placed, you could consider working for the campaign on election day. Now, I’ll admit, that is a straight plug for the Obama camp. But if you are interested in doing so (it WILL make a difference), look up your local campaign office.

It has been interesting to read how popular early voting has become. In this USA Today article, it was pointed out that while 20% of voters in 2004 submitted their votes early, they predict as many as a third of all voters nationally to participate in early voting. In states such as Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and even here in Florida, they expect up to 50% of their votes to be cast early.

With early voters potentially easing the entire process so that more votes are cast, there is no doubt we are all better off for it. However, it is simply an option more folks need to be aware of. I know that with my two fidgeting boys, I would prefer to vote quickly and efficiently on the day of my choice, rather than brave the lines on election day. Please consider spreading the word about this option and submitting an early vote this election season.

Cross posted at Type A Moms.


Filed under Election, Obama

Wordless Wednesday: Wild Boar Damage in our backyard

Over our past three years in Florida, we’ve witnessed all sorts of beasties prowling about in our yard. But this morning, we woke up to this. I suspected a wild boar right away but am now quite positive that is what we’ve got out back after watching this video. And, yup, they’re dangerous. Terrific. And I thought the aligators and bobcats were enough to worry about. I think I’ll be calling Animal Control today. Wish me luck. Things certainly never get “boar”ing around here… what? Ok ok, I’ll cut the jokes and call them already.


Filed under Florida, Wildlife

Shades of Yellow: A Tale of Potty Training.

**This post will contain potty talk. Reader discretion advised.**

I am seeing yellow these days. And sometimes even brown. And why do I see these lovely fall shades so often this time of year? No, I am certainly not staring at any fall foliage (I live in Florida, remember? It only goes from “green” to “a little less green” around here). I am potty training. And its enough to make even the very reasonable germ-o-phobe in me lose my stinking mind. Literally.

It wasn’t even MY idea. Oh no. C.’s only two, and on the young side of two also – so why would I push it? I wasn’t. It was my older 5 yo son T. who gave him the idea. Once again, he had to go and be a “good example” and show off his toilet skills as if it were something he’d been doing all his life (rather than a mere two years). Oh, no doubt about it, as soon as C. saw all the self-made fountain fun, he wanted in on that. “I big boy, I do dat.” And so it began.

Now I should really give C. some props. T. wanted zero to do with a bathroom until he was well into his third year. *Really* well into it (a quick shout out of thanks to his wonderfully patient preschool teacher, Ms. Lori). Why bother putting it somewhere when he had a traveling sani-can attached to his under carraige? How convieeeniant. So the fact that C. is ready this early is something to be proud of.

But this post isn’t about pride for my children. Its about urine. Lots of it. Whether its dried up and crusted to the sides of the potty or in a warm puddle on the floor. And poop. Smeared, stuck, smooshed, and skidded. And yes, are you ready for it? Even under the finger nails – his AND mine. (Shudder.)

To be ready for potty training, you really must be prepared for the fallout of human waste. Pee and poop could be around any corner, at any time. And while your instinct is to rear back in horror, you should be ready with the canned response: “Oops! No big deal, accidents happen!” – paired with an encouraging smile – if and when you find misplaced bodily functions in your household. When they miss the potty. Or leave a puddle on the floor. Or if (of all that’s good in this world, why this) they decide to “finger-paint”, you must always KEEP YOUR COOL.

When a good friend and mother of 3 heard C. had done some poop playing, she said “Oh! That’s wonderful news! That means he’s ready to potty train!” Blink. “Wonderful” wouldn’t the term I would exactly use. Because here’s the bottom line. That poop? When you potty train, it is impossible to truly contain any of it. Impossible, I tell you. He has come to me on many occasions “Hands messy mommy. Poop dirty.” Yes, indeed. Oh my. Where have you been? Since you found your way into your own diaper, which buttons, handles, couch pillows, refrig doors, sippy cups, crackers… ahhhh… have you touched since, child??!!!!!

(Shudder, sob, I am just not strong enough for this dammit…)

But lets get back to the bathroom, because – while on hands and knees with my trusty cleaners, mumbling the usual explatives – that is where the idea for this post was truly inspired. 

My boys’ bathroom is an atrocity. Luckily, the accidents outside the bathroom – even the poop playing – have been to a minimum. But the human waste “free for alls” within the confines of the boys bathroom have not. Like some re-enactment of the famous fountain show in front of the Bellagio in Vegas, that bathroom stages a jaw dropping circus of bodily functions. The greatest show on earth: come one, come all. I know you are all on edge of your seats now…

If both of my boys are sitting on their respective toilets (adult sized for T., small plastic potty for C.) at the same time, all bets are off. While T. goes, C. is either watching all the action with his nose about an inch from T.’s business – or C. is his mirror image, grunting and pushing with pride and anticipation on his own little plastic pot.

And where is my concern? C. does not aim well. Things don’t get tucked below. I tryto help but am verbally beaten back with an “I DO IT!! I DO IT!!!!” Naturally, 9 times out of 10, the fountain show begins. It is then, of course, when I muster up the stock: “Oops! No big deal, accidents happen!” response. With a nekked C. at my side “helping out”, wads of TP bunched in his sticky fists, we both try and wipe up his mess.

Finally, once tucked correctly, we usually have some sort of accurately aimed, potty success. Thrilled with himself, C. will jump off and present his few drops to me. Then, no matter where poor T. is in his bathroom process, C. shoves T. off the can to pour said drops into the big toilet. However, luck is only with me *IF* those few drops even *MAKE IT* into the toilet…. CAREFUL! Watch out! (Insert sing songy voice.) “Oops! No big deal, accidents happen!”

That bathroom. Really. If I am not in there hosing the place down with hazmat cleaners on an hourly basis, that bathroom smells like a truck stop stall on a hot summer’s day. And the poor little bathmats are sadly faded – deteriorating after so many washes. The shower curtain happens to be a convenient shade of yellow – but I always wonder if it is the “clean” kind of yellow. You’ll find kandoo wipes open, rolled and unrolled bits of toilet paper, various books for reading thrown about haphazardly, or possibly a discarded pair of underpants or pull ups. Cleaners are lined up behind the toilet like tired soldiers – with the clorox wipes leading the pack. Nothing looks nice. Nothing looks presentable. Everything just seems a bit too dribbled on to me.

And …(sob)… I just smell pee, now matter how much I scrub.

So will it ever change? Maybe they will grow up and aim better. Maybe they will actually get the toilet paper into the toilet. Maybe they will wipe their own toilet seats someday. But I remain skeptical. I need to prepare myself. For crying out loud, I have two boys. I have to face the reality: I don’t think the novelty of self-made, Bellagio style, fountain fun ever really wears off. I’ll bet my clorox wipes on it.

(Does anyone have directions for a DIY outhouse? Don’t think I haven’t thought about it.)


Filed under Boys, Parenting, Potty Training, Teaching kids