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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For Sure

Not too long ago, inspired by Oprah's final thoughts in O magazine, I came up with a list of 13 Things I Know For Sure and after seeing Mama Kat's writing prompts for this week, I had to revisit, revamp and re-share my list with some edits and seven addendum's.

I haven't been on this planet that long, but certainly long enough to learn a few things about myself, my habits, my body, the products I use, the company I keep and my pastimes, that I am now willing to put in black-and-white:

1) Bangs only look cute on Heidi Klum and always seem like a good idea at the time, but will take forever to grow out and look terrible on my face.


2) No matter how great my intentions are, fresh produce will go bad before I know it. Buy as you need, no more, no less.

3) I might as well get $100 out of the ATM, I know I'll spend it and it will save me the time and embarrassment at Subway.

4) The hotter the shower, the drier my skin.


5) I should have started using eye cream at age 20 instead of age 30.


6) Generic brand Q-tips suck!


7) If it's already 9:00, do not start a movie, I will fall asleep. The exception to this is when my husband is out of town and then for some god forsaken reason, I can stay up until after midnight.


8) Send thank you notes immediately! Having to start with, "I'm sorry this is so late..." is no way to thank someone.


9) A watched pot never boils, a phone doesn't ring, nor an 'In Box' fill.


10) I will never be known for my dinner parties, but maybe my unique handwriting.


11) There is such a thing as karma and I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around and it can show up in many different forms; parking spots, waits in line, transferring sleeping children from car seats to cribs and simply being at the right place at the right time.


12) Chances are I will probably never breathe the same air as Dave Matthews, but a girl can dream, can't she? *Swoon*


13) As much as people may think, it really doesn't take a lot to make me happy; a bowl of popcorn, a fountain drink (or these days a Hansen's diet soda), an hour on the treadmill or in a book store, a full tank of gas, showing up on time.

14) I believe in the power of positive thinking, girl time, dancing a bad mood away and a good cry.

15) Pottery Barn Kids furniture is lust worthy only when pictured in the catalog, once you get it into your home, it's crap!

16) Everyone should call their parents more.

17) "This too shall pass" may be cliche and super annoying, but it's true.

18) It's time to accept the fact that every time I make plans with you-know-who, she will either: flake, be late, change them at the last minute, or postpone to the point where I want to give up on the friendship all together.

19) Motherhood is the toughest and most rewarding job I have ever had.

20) It's okay to ask for help, forgiveness and a rain check (as long as you're not already 15 minutes late).

What do you know for sure?

This post was written for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Prompt 3.) What I know for sure.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

School Days

From 1976-1979, my parents taught on an Indian reservation in Sells, Arizona. My mother taught kindergarten and my father, high school U.S. history.

For reasons I'm unclear of, I attended a Catholic school in a different district for kindergarten and first grade, almost nine miles away in Topawa. My family isn't Catholic.

The scent of Play-Doh and Coppertone, riding my Big Wheel up and down the sidewalk in front of our house, skinned knees, playing house, watching the Donnie and Marie Show, too much sugar cereal and wishing I was older all remind me of my childhood, but it's six very distinctive events that stand out when I think back to being four and five years old and my first school days:

1. I got to ride the school bus all by myself for what I now know was only 20 minutes, but back then felt like 90. How grown up I felt. It was frightening too, especially the time that I missed my stop and a policeman escorted the bus to pull over so that I get off after multiple radio calls were made regarding my whereabouts. I knew full well that the light haired, light eyed little girl they were talking about was me.

2. I stapled my finger to see what it would feel like and I quickly learned that it hurt like hell as I stood there bleeding my ruby red blood all over Miss Mills' desk with big crocodile tears streaming down my face. I've never done that again!

3. Catholic nuns can be both vicious and the most endearing women on the planet.

4. Case and point: Once Sister Trecel made me eat a banana at lunch even though I told her that it would make me sick. When I threw up all over her and her starch black and white habit, she sent me home with a note of apology to my parents pinned to my shirt.

5. Naps... need I say more? Actually, it is not the naps that I recall so much as the uncomfortable green army cots and the giant pools of drool that I remember most of all. Not mine, mind you. I also remember laying there for what seemed like forever listening to my class mates snore. I still can't nap.

6. When Miss Mills asked us to draw a picture of our family, I drew my mother, father, myself and my baby sister. Miss Mills called my mother that evening to congratulate her on our family's new addition. My sister, Leah wouldn't be born for another eight years. Gulp! Thinking back on this family portrait always reminds me how much I longed for a sibling.

Two big years of my young life as defined by six small events that stand out very clearly in my adult head.

This post is for The Red Dress Club's writing assignment, RemembeRED. This week's prompt was to remember kindergarten.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Parking






This post is for Post-It Note Tuesday (PINT) developed by That One Mom at Only Parent Chronicles.

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A Day In The Life Of A Toddler

  1. He doesn't want to have his diaper changed.
  2. He wants to pull on the blinds.
  3. He doesn't want to put his shoes on.
  4. He wants to play in mom's nightstand drawers.
  5. He wants to take trains with him, he doesn't want to carry them.
  6. He doesn't want to participate in music class, he wants to go to the aquarium.
  7. He doesn't want to sit in the grocery store cart, he wants to push it.
  8. He wants to play with the cars at the pharmacy.
  9. He doesn't want to leave the pharmacy.
  10. He doesn't want to sit in his car seat.
  11. He wants to watch TV.
  12. He doesn't want to take his shoes off.
  13. He wants his sippy cup with the top off.
  14. He doesn't like getting wet.
  15. He wants the whole thing, not just a small bite.

How many temper tantrums can one child have a day? It's only 4:30 and I'm still counting...

Needless to say, it's been a rough day.

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Mom Snacks

You probably won't believe this but I have never tried any of Lucas' food.

I never taste tested the formula we gave him, rice cereal, homemade baby food we so painstakingly made when he was an infant, teething biscuits, puffs or other snacks.

I try to give him a lot of things I don't particularly care for like; bananas, beans of all sorts, peas, blueberry waffles and yogurt and have never sampled any of them.

He may have fed me a Cheerio or two from his snack trap, but other than that, I don't partake.

For one, his food never appeals to me and I'm not very adventurous when it comes to cuisine 2.) I'm not a snacker and 3.) I don't need the extra calories.

All that has changed now that I've discovered Annie's Bunny Grahams. Have you tried these delightful little itty bitty bite-sized nuggets of scrumptiousness? Holy cow, they're good and they should be banned from my house because now I don't buy them for Lucas, I buy them for me!

Hmmm, come to think of it, we have a lot of Annie's Homegrown products in our home. I might just have to broaden my taste buds.

Do you eat off your child's plate? What's your favorite mom, er... I mean, kid food?

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Enough

I had heard about this viral video but hadn't watched it until today.


Is this really what our young people are capable of?

A teen gets bullied one too many times and finally snaps and another gets body slammed for thinking he's better, smarter, faster, more powerful? Insane!

I'm sad and disturbed and want to sign my son up for karate as soon as he's old enough.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Witching Hours

Today you will find me over at Liz's place, a belle, a bean & a chicago dog revealing a particularly dreadful time period that perhaps you can identify with if you have a toddler, had a toddler or ever were a toddler... In our house this time period is know as Witching Hours!

Liz is my fairy blogmother and has advised me on several blogging quandaries with an ease and candor that I respect and admire. Recently we took our relationship to third base (if your don't know what that means, you have to read Liz's post, How Twitter is Like First Base) and had a phone conversation. She is as lovely on the phone as she is on her blog and in tweets. :)

I was thrilled when Liz asked me to guest post for her today, so what are you waiting for, come say hello!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For The Best

I hold on to you tighter than anything else in my life.
I have faith that you will get me through no matter what's in store for me.
You offer me the prospect of a better tomorrow.
You grow and bloom in my heart whether I want you there or not.
You make me believe that I will be more patient, more loving, more tolerate and more at peace.
You are the cure, the relief, the strength and promise I need.
Without you I'd be lost.
Without you I'd be desperate and sad.
For the best or for the worst,
You are hope.

This post was written for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Prompt 2.) April is national poetry month...Write a poem about hope.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Every Night

Every night I tell myself, as soon as Lucas goes to bed, I'm going to go too and every night, I stay up WAY past my bedtime.

This is my view at 11:15 PM.

And I wonder why I'm such a grump in the morning.

This post is for Wordless Wednesdays and if you want to link up, or see some really beautiful photographs, please visit Alicia at A Beautiful Mess. This week, she is on vacation with her family and being rejuvenated by sand and surf.

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I Survived My First Blogging Conference!

Armed with my fresh off the press blog cards, comfortable shoes, a light weight sweater, a fully charged iPhone (that only lasted until noon), a notebook, pen (that was out of ink by noon), a firm hand shake and a smile, I attended my first blogging conference, Bloggy Boot Camp on Saturday.

I loved the intimate round tables, the seating assignments, the view of the ocean from our seats and the very informative speakers...

I enjoyed listening to the adorable Ashley Stock (Little Miss Momma), whose blog is barely a year old (!) share tips and tricks suitable for any and every new blogger.

I appreciated what Anna Vielle's (ABDPBT.com) had to say about Social Capital (your metrics and demographics) vs. Trust Capital (staying true to yourself and your voice, i.e. not selling out).

Mama Mary's presentation was all about incorporating videos to your blog, which is something I might try with Letters For Lucas some day after she made it look so easy. NOT!

But it was DeNae Handy (My Real Life was on Backorder) and Mama Kat (Mama's Losin' It) that stole the show for me!

DeNae's kind nature and wit make her an absolute joy to listen to. I wish she was my neighbor so that she could help me with my writing, maybe babysit Lucas form time to time and I bet she's a real hoot after a glass of wine. She shared so many writing tips and good things for us all to remember that I have to share some here:

Your readers are people. Your readers are you. Write for you and you write for your readers.

Read, read, read... just as singer sing, writers write in language that speaks to them.

Make sure it is your story to tell.

The Internet lives forever! Be careful what you put out there. People are more important than a punchline.

Generosity plays well on the Internet. Support, support and support some more.

And Mama Kat, well, she's just awesome and I must have told her nine times (shaking my head in complete and utter embarrassment).I came away inspired and encouraged by this amazing group of women PLUS, I met the incredible writers behind Mandyland, San Diego Momma and BernThis!

I have a list of things I can do to improve my blog and my writing and I have a ton of new friends to boot.It was Ashley that started the day by saying, You have a story, You have a voice. You deserve to be here and those words resonated with me throughout the conference and today. There may be 4 million mommy bloggers, but only one Letters For Lucas.

A HUGE big thank you to our hosts, the SITS Girls, Tiffany and Francesca for putting on a terrific conference.

Thank you too, to Morgan, (The Little Hen House) who is my friend in real life and was kind enough to help a sister out by lending me her phone charger and a pen.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Been There, Done That!

This is my first time participating in Post-It Note Tuesday (PINT) developed by That One Mom at Only Parent Chronicles.PINT is a weekly meme that uses...you guessed it!...Post-It Notes to convey random streams of thought. Check it out and link up!

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What A Crazy, Fun, Wonderful Weekend!

Every six months or so, I have a weekend that I look forward to with so much anticipation and excitement, and is so jam packed that it's almost a blur come Monday morning.

Last weekend was one of those weekends...

I was in Vegas for an annual girl's trip on Thursday night for a whirlwind 24 hours, home with just enough time to wash the smoke and ick out of my hair.

At 7:15 on Saturday morning, my friend, Coreen (The Adventures of Captain Fussypants, Little Miss & Caleb the Wonder Dog and pictured with me below) arrived at my house so we could car pool to Bloggy Boot Camp together.

It was an awesome one day conference but my head is still reeling from all the great take-aways. I promise to share highlights in an upcoming post.On Sunday, I spent the rain soaked day in LA waiting for my sister to cross the finish line at the LA Marathon, along with hundreds of other people. I was drenched and freezing fully dressed, so I can only imagine how miserable the runners felt.

Leah was really hurting towards the end of the 26.2 miles, but she finished in just under six hours and I am SO proud of her!

This picture was taken from the lobby bar at the Hotel Shangri-La. Once I learned that Leah had roughly an hour left to run, I wised up and got warm and dry and then ended up taking her there for a meal and beer.

It was in large part thanks to Leah that I was able to enjoy this crazy, fun, wonderful weekend because she spent Thursday afternoon, all day Friday and most of the day on Saturday with Lucas. Thank you, Leah! I sincerely appreciate your help and I know Lucas loved having his aunt visit for a few days. xoxo

Here's hoping to catch up on my sleep tonight.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Bloggy Boot Camp

Normally quiet, shy and reserved until you get to know me and more than happy to hide behind my laptop, I went out on a limb thinking no one else I knew would be attending (except Mommy of a Monster, who is now not able to attend after all) and bought a ticket for my first blogging conference.

I don't know what I was thinking... I'm not overly comfortable in large groups, especially when I don't know anyone, but
that was more than seven months ago. Now, I have so many friends via Twitter, Letters For Lucas and the mommy blogging community in general that are going to be at Bloggy Boot Camp tomorrow that I am peeing in my pants excited!!

Bloggy Boot Camp is a blogging conference hosted by the SITS (The Secret to Success is Support
) community. There are six events this year around the country and this one just happens to be in my back yard.

The event is limited to 125 attendees, so where I once was afraid, I am now looking forward to the intimate setting and because I still consider myself a relatively new blogger, I can't wait to network and learn what the pros recommend.

The speaker line-up sounds amazing too. I am particularly excited about seeing/hearing/meeting Mama Mary of The Mama Mary Show, whom I have had fun on Twitter with and Kathy, aka Mama Kat, the blogger behind Mama's Losin' It. Each week I participate in her nearly world famous, Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

I'm sure I'll walk away mind boggled and inspired.

Check back next week when I share highlights and be sure to let me know if you 're planning to be there too.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I hope you're wearing green.

Send a little extra Irish luck my way, will ya? I'm on my way to Vegas for my annual girl's trip!
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inspiration

For me, inspiration comes from 101 different places.... a kind gesture, a meaningful connection with someone I admire, respect or never even met in real life, those that give of themselves and expect nothing in return, an exploration involving a passport, being within the comfort of my home, an epiphany that leads me down a road of self to discovery, a starry sky, a roaring ocean or a vast dissolute desert.

Inspiration also comes from:

My parents because their relationship complimented one another so seamlessly and it's one that I would like to emulate, they exposed me to the whole world, they instilled in me a strong work ethic and a respect and empathy for all. My son because his light, curiosity and wonder amaze me daily. He makes me want to be a better person.My husband because he puts up with me and all my neurosis and supports me as a navigate through a very wide range of moods and emotions. My friends because no matter where our lives may take us or how busy we get, I know without a doubt we will always be there for each other. We share our successes and failures equally.But, it's reading books, blogs, magazines, quotes and lyrics that inspire me the most. Just knowing that others have experienced what I have and learning their coping mechanisms or marveling at their own unique lives is a wonderful gift and makes me feel truly alive and incredibly hopeful in myself and the human race.

This post was written for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Prompt 5) I'm inspired by... (A photo journal entry)

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