Saturday, February 28, 2009

Girl Friends

This week I have talked about some of my favorite memories with some of my favorite girls (SOME of). I talked about silly games and spa days with friends from my early twenties.

Then I shared stories of lipsticking cars with some of my High School buddies.

I also talked about my best friend who kept me out of trouble when we were kids.

I don't see these friends too often since our lives have taken us in different directions, but we haven't lost touch and they will always be my girls.

At the last ladies meeting I went to at my church they had a jar full of candy and each person wrote down their best guess for the amount in the jar. I just randomly picked 600 and there were 598 pieces! I won a Starbuck's gift card and was instructed to take out one of my girlfriends for coffee. The person sitting next to me hinted that I should take her. I knew she was joking, but I was planning on taking her anyway.

She is very dear to me, especially since she married my best "guy friend" from High School. I was a bridesmaid in their wedding and I was there when their daughter was born. She was there when I needed a ride to the pharmacy to pick up what turned out being a POSITIVE pregnancy test. She loaned me all her maternity clothes and I returned them shortly after that when she found out SHE had a positive pregnancy test with a due date exactly 7 weeks after mine. We both had boys, they were both born 5 days before their due dates. I know that no matter where we end up 10, 15, or 20 years down the road we will be life long friends.

Every woman, with exception of maybe Emily Dickinson, needs her girlfriends; someone to be silly with, a partner in crime, or someone to keep you out of crime, a friend that you can count on to share her honest opinion and her dessert. A good group of friends is a priceless treasure.

Maybe there is someone you haven't talked to in a while, or you just haven't felt like you've had time for friends. It won't happen unless you make it happen. Pick up the phone, write an email, set a date. That's my challenge for you this week, it doesn't have to be anything major, it just takes a little bit of time, girl time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Froogie Boogie: Spa Treatments

There is nothing like a nice relaxing day at the spa and there is also nothing like the bill that goes along with it! There are however other ways to be pampered. I know these photos look like I am getting 5 star care, and I am, but it was all because I have some of the greatest friends in the world who had me over one night to do give me a manicure, pedicure, and facial since my anniversary was coming up. Doing your own beauty treatments at home is a great way to save money, but why not make it fun at the same time and have a little spa party. Get together with friends and take turns doing all the fru fru things that you never get to do on a regular basis. Or you could do what my friends did and treat someone you love to a little spa treatment. It is a great way to give a meaningful gift at a low cost, but I assure you she will be extremely grateful. That anniversary gift from my friends was 4 years ago and here I am still talking about it. In these tough economic times getting beautified from home is just one more way to stay frugal.

For more Frugal tips check out

Thursday, February 26, 2009

City of the Month #6: Gatlinburg

Since I am talking about girlfriends this week I thought I would share one of my favorite vacationing spots that I experienced with my mom and sister-in-law. We all lived in different states at the time, Texas, Kentucky, and Georgia, so we met up in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for our own little holiday, just us girls.

It would be difficult to go to Gatlinburg and not have a good time because there is so much to do there. We stayed in a hotel that was surrounded by trees with a creek that ran down through the valley just outside of our back balcony. The downtown area, which included a Ben & Jerry's scoop shop, was within walking distance. When we didn't feel like walking we used a trolley to go from one site to the next. We spent the days shopping and site seeing. We also went horse back riding through the scenic mountains. In the evenings there were plenty of restaurants to choose from and one night we went to a murder mystery dinner theater. After all the days activities we would crash back at the hotel and watch "What Not To Wear" and have girl talk before finally falling asleep.

Family vacations and romantic excursions are a great way to travel, but sometimes you just need a girls only getaway.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Best Friend

I was born out in the country in house on a hill with only one other house in sight. That would be the home of my best friend Nancy. Our families were really close and did everything together so we shared a lot memorable moments growing up.

The only problem with Nancy, if you want to call it that, was that she was the biggest goody two-shoes l have ever met. I couldn’t get away with ANYTHING when she was around. I remember one time all of us kids were playing pool (or just horse playing with the pool sticks) and one of them ended up broken. We tried to glue it back together, but of course we were found out. When her dad lined all of us up to get the story about what happened, we just stood there, staring at the ground in silence like good little P.O.W.'s. Of course Nancy couldn't take it and she walked right up to her dad and whispered in his ear. We all just rolled our eyes and threw our hands up in the air. I like the fact that she whispered as if we wouldn’t know what it was that she was telling him. What do you expect from a girl that would drink root beer out of a paper bag because she didn’t want it to look like she had alcohol!

I give her a hard time, but she is still my BFF. We even had the necklaces. There is just something about growing up together that creates a special bond. Although we don’t see each other very often we will always be close, which reminds me I need to give her a call.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Look Back and Laugh: Caught in the Act

In a previous blog post titled High School: Not so bad after all I had mentioned the act of "lipsticking boys cars".

I guess this statement could use some further explanation since lipsticking isn't even a real verb. In High School my girlfriends and I never partied, drank, or did drugs. Maybe that is why we occupied our time with other activities that would gives us a sense of rebellion like sabotaging other peoples vehicles. One time it was decorating a friend's car with oreos. Just lick 'em and stick 'em for a nice polka-dot effect. The lipstick thing was a little valentines edition where we decided to go write all over our guy friend's cars with lipstick. One after the other we snuck around town leaving ridiculous messages on these boy's cars until we were busted. Only it gets worse, it turns out what we thought was our friend's car was actually his dad's! We were very apologetic and cleaned every last little smudge of red off of his windows. It's probably good that he caught us, can you imagine what kind of trouble he would have been in with his wife finding anonymous valentines messages written in lipstick . Regardless of being caught, we did have fun while it lasted.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Guess which one I would wear?

Did anybody watch The Academy Awards last night, or in my case catch glimpses here and there? I went to the movies a total of 3 times last year and they were all comedies. This made the Oscars a little bit of a drag since I had not seen ANY of the films that were nominated. This hasn't always been the case, but now that I am a mom I laugh at the thought of sitting in one place for 2 hours.
With that said, I saw very little of the actual program, but I did get to see Penelope Cruz win for best supporting actress. At first I didn't want her to win because she's gorgeous, she's already successful, she has it all. That is why I was routing for the underdogs , but she was so excited and grateful when she gave her cute little bilingual acceptance speech. I was glad she took the Oscar home. I also caught what should have been the most awkward moment award, presented by Jennifer Aniston. It wasn't that she was awkward, it was that every time she came on stage the camera would strategically shoot a close ups of Brad and Angela in the front row. I guess the drama isn't all about the award winning movies anymore.

Now let's get down to what really matters, the dresses. A couple of my closest girlfriends invented this game when we were in college. It's really silly, but we always had fun with it. We would go to Barnes and Noble and look at Entertainment magazines like US weekly and In Touch. Most of these magazines have pages with side by side comparisons of different actresses fashion ensembles.
We would all guess which one the each of us would wear and when we had decided in our minds, we would share one by one. After a while we really got good at knowing each others styles. It was a great way to feel like you get to go shopping for a designer outfit without really spending anything. Let's give it a try. Here are some of fashion statements made on the red carpet last night.

I will leave my answer in the comment section, don't forget to let me know which one you guessed for me, and which dress you would wear!

The question always came up whether you got the body to go with the dress and we decided sure, why not? As long as we are dreaming we might as well dream big.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What if...

In talking about lifestyles this week it brings up a lot of questions about what influences how we live. My mind begins to wander and I ask myself things like…

What if you were born in another country?
What if you were born in another time period?
What if you were famous?
What if you were homeless?

What would your life be like then?

There are so many factors that influence our lifestyles. Every encounter, every experience is having some kind of impact on the person that you are and are to become. The questions are kind of pointless, because when I think about what kind of life I would lead if I where under completely different circumstances I have to say that it just wouldn’t be me. I am more than just a body. I am a being and my life is a compilation of everything that I have been through and the choices I have made.
You change any of that and it isn’t MY life. Therefore, although I can’t determine the circumstantial factors of my environment I do have a choice in what I do with them. I want to live a life of love, truthfulness, purpose and holiness. I want my lifestyle to be a reflection of that. I don’t have time for self pity and no room for regrets, because without every little piece of this journey, I am incomplete.

Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Froogie Boogie: Debt Free Lifestyle

I talked a couple days ago about subculture which varies only slightly from counterculture. Counterculture is a culture with lifestyles and values opposed to those of the established culture.

The reason I am bringing this up in the froogie boogie segment is because being frugal and living within and not beyond your means is the opposite of what the rest of our society is telling us to do.

I grew up in a home that was not the ultimate example of money management. My parents did the best they could, but things were tight, bills were piling up, the collectors were calling, and our water and electric were some times turned off when things didn't get paid. They were enslaved to debt. It’s amazing to think that this is the same couple that are now the biggest Financial Peace advocates I know.

Financial Peace University is a program that teaches you how to make the right decisions with your money. You can go to for all the details.

This program changed my parent’s lives. Since going through the teaching 7 years ago they have made a complete 180 in the way they handle money. Because of their success they have also become FPU instructors and now help other people that are struggling with their finances.

My parents are now living completely debt free with emergency money available for when “things happen”. Before they turned 50 they were able to purchase a home and two cars without having a mortgage, car payments, or credit cards. Their lifestyle is countercultural to that of our society and it is not because they are wealthy, it is because they have made a choice. I on the other hand have a lot of work to do in the way of debt free living, so I am preaching to myself here, but I wanted to share their little testimony as encouragement to anyone wondering if it can be done. Because there is an alternative, it is obtainable, and it can change your life.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Odd Jobs

When you hear a child talk about what they want to be when they grow up the answers are usually pretty basic: fireman, doctor, ballerina, singer. Then you get into Middle School or High School and the dreams of employment expand some, but are still pretty limited to things like graphic artist, psyciatrist, and accountant.

Then when you enter into the real world there are so many more options. A lot of them being careers that most people would never directly pursue, but somehow these positions are still filled. Many of these employees are represented on the hit show "Dirty Jobs" with Mike Rowe on the Discovery Channel. If you have never seen this program you should because it is fascinating. They cover all the dirtiest jobs in America, like road kill collector or septic tank technician. Not too many people say they want to be a septic tank technician when they grow up, but people do it.

Then there are jobs that aren't dirty, but are still just kind of obscure. My friend's dad manages an adhesive company. Not just any adhesive, but the kind that comes on stuff in the mail sometimes, and you can peel it off and it's stretchy. I never really thought about the fact that someone has to make that stuff. There is also someone out there creating yarn, and thinking of new colors for nail polish, and someone besides Dunder Mifflin is actually selling paper.

Sure you have politicians, lawyers, homemakers, teachers, etc., but their are so many other people working hard, doing tasks that often go unrecognized, creating this life as we know it. Take movie credits for example, you usually hear about the lead actors and director, but there are hundreds of other people doing all kinds of odd jobs to make the film happen.

I bring this up because all jobs, whether they seem big or small, long term or temporary, play an important part in our lifestyle. Although our jobs do not define us, they do help shape us and teach us, in one way or another.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


If I were to try and sum up the American lifestyle, the first thing that comes to mind would be consumerism. By childhood you should be striving to succeed academically, so that you can go to college, and then you can get a good job. That is what Americans do, we work hard so that we can spend big. We spend more than what we work for. We are obsessed with image, we love sports, we value family, and we believe in God. The order that falls in varies depending on the day of the week, on Sundays some would reverse the order.

I know that this is not true for everyone, and it is just a stereotype, but unfortunately it is often what is portrayed. Pop culture is what represents our society on a global level. What the mass media decides to produce speaks for all of us and most of the time this is sex, selfishness, and greed. What most people don't ever see, except every now and then on 20/20 or Wife Swap, are the hundreds of subcultures that are a reality to many of us.

A subculture is a social group within a national culture that have ideas, beliefs, and customs, that differ from the main stream culture. Teenagers are often a breeding ground for these groups. They are bursting at the seams to express themselves and to be an individual, but they don't want to do it alone. I used to be a substitute teacher and was assigned to a gym class once. While the Jr. high kids were doing laps one of the coaches starting talking about a student he described as an emu kid. Another coach asked what that was and the answer was that it was a gang that dye their hair black, wear girl jeans, and listen to depressing music. As someone who went to High School in the era that birthed Emo, I was a little more in touch with the times than they were. The subculture that they were referring to is actually called EMO not emu, and derived from a style of indie rock music, everything else they said was fairly accurate. That's just one example of subculture.

As for me, in someways I am as average as they come. I am married with one child, a college education, a part time job, and some debt that is along for the ride. Then again, as a natural birth, delayed vaccine, buy everything used, charismatic christian I guess that poses the question "what is normal anyway?"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Look Back and Laugh: Black Tie

Several years ago my husband boss's daughter was getting married and we had the honor of attending this black tie affair. I was so excited! After assuming that I would never have any well-to-do award ceremonies or balls to attend I figured my days of formal wear ended with prom. I immediately began looking for a dress, which led to the realization that I could not afford a dress. We were young newly weds living on a shoestring budget that did not allow for sparkling evening gowns. I was like Cinderella with no fairy god mother. I did however have a lot of friends with prom/bridesmaid dresses tucked away in their closets begging to be borrowed. So I ended up with a previously worn bridesmaid dress that was a decent fit, my husband borrowed a tux, and we were good to go.

The night of the wedding we pulled up to the red carpet (literally there was a red carpet) in the clunkiest old Volvo you have ever seen. I am sure the valets didn't mind parking it due to the fact that my husband, who valet parked as a second job, knew what a good tip would be. As we approached the Hall of State entrance I saw local news anchors and politicians and I gulped as I realized that this was a pretty big deal and that the music that I was hearing in my head was actually a live bag pipe player. All this before we even stepped foot in the building.

Of course the ceremony, the food, the decorations, everything was over the top. At one point we were all directed outside to watch the fireworks. It was rumored that this private fireworks display cost pops a good 20 grand, but what is 20 grand amongst so many other "grands"? As I was soaking it all in, an older woman wearing a Cruella de Vil like ensemble looked down at me and said "you almost look like a bridesmaid" I sighed "well, it is a bridesmaid dress" I told her.

There I was, a waitress being offered gourmet hors d'oeuvre and champagne on silver platters, listening to a full orchestra perform as I tried to blend in with the biggest socialites in the Big D. Yet somehow I just couldn't get comfortable. I felt like someone had posted a sign on my back that said "Poor Girl" and there was no way of fooling anyone. Fortunately, I didn't let this invisible mental sign stop me from sampling all the delicacies the evening had to offer and grabbing my share of party favors on the way out!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Boot Scootin' Boogie

This past Valentine’s day was a little different for me. I was scheduled to photograph a wedding that was being held way out in the country. Country would be a good description of the event, because it was authentically Texan through and through. The reception was in a barn that was transformed into their own private banquet hall, lit with white lights that illuminated the rafters. In the corner there were some rocking chairs labeled for designated family members. The grooms cake was a duck theme, representing the grooms love for the bird, or more so, his love for shooting them. The beer was flowing and the party was really getting going as the DJ played the Boot Scootin' Boogie and everyone got down with the two step.

Later in the evening I inquired about the ladies room and was directed to a set of port a potties labeled "Brides" and "Grooms." The brides stall was occupied, and I was told that it really didn't make any difference which one I used, so I braved the mens! I wished I hadn't.

It wasn't the most romantic February 14th, since I hardly saw my husband all day, but we made up for it today with a special outing. It was just the basic dinner and a movie, but a rare and much needed treat for us.

We saw New in Town.

A film about a high class, corporate executive, from Miami who is transferred to a small town in the Minnesota where she finds herself in the middle of a culture clash. I thought it was a really cute film. I am sure when the DVD comes out it will say "The Messy Mom gives it 2 thumbs up".

I am continually fascinated by the diversity of America, from Florida to Minnesota and all the other 48 states. Being at that wedding on Saturday reminded me even more so about all the different types of people, cultures, and customs there are outside of my own little bubble. That is what brings me to this weeks topic: Lifestyles.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

25 Random Facts #21-25

21. Everyone in my family has a Mac Book.

Okay, this is not entirely accurate, because my 17 month old does not have his own Mac, contrary to what the photo above depicts. I wrote about this family phenomenon in another post, here is the link- "My Mac Is Back"

22. I got over $1,000 worth of free stuff from CVS last year, by using coupons.

This whole coupon cult is all very new to me, I just started up in June, but I jumped in with both feet. Here are a couple links to where I have blogged about it.

The Messy Mom: Money Saving Mom
The Messy Mom: The Call of Coupons
The Messy Mom: CVS week of September 21-27

23. I like playing Frisbee games even though I am not good at them.

Ultimate Frisbee and Frisbee golf, GREAT FUN!

24. I am not smarter than a 5th Grader, but I could probably take one in a fight or maybe not.

I am not good at retaining facts, so anything I learned in 5th grade is long gone. My teachers always labeled me as EXTREMELY right brained. In general your left brain is the intellectual side and the right brain is more creative/artsy. 5th grade math would probably do me in. As far as fighting a 5th grader, of course I would never do that. Let's try this one; I am not smarter than a 5th grader, but I do have a driver's license. Ha, TAKE THAT 5TH GRADERS!

25. I used to be allergic to shrimp and bee stings. I am no longer allergic to shrimp. The jury is still out on the bees and I am fine with keeping it that way.

If you have seen Will Smith's character in the movie "Hitch" when he eats shell fish then you pretty much know my story. I can't even come in contact without swelling up like a balloon. However, that was when I was younger I grew out of it at some point in my teen years. I accidently ate some crab dip once and didn't react, but I would have to get stung by a bee to know if I would end up hospitalized like I did when I was 8. So I just try and avoid them altogether.

Friday, February 13, 2009

25 Random Facts #16-20

16. My baby wears cloth diapers

I never thought I would use cloth diapers, because that’s just gross right? Well, I am just as notorious for changing my mind as I am for going against the grain. When I was pregnant I spent a lot of time listening to podcasts, reading articles, and talking with friends about the alternative to disposable diapers, but I wasn't entirely convinced. I was concerned with the convenience factor knowing that I would be a part time working mom. All that changed however when I listened to an online series by Rob Bell called "God is Green". He talked about the enormous negative impact of diapers on the environment and I just felt then and there like it was worth it for me to do this. It wasn't some kind of guilt trip, in fact he suggested using "g diapers", never once mentioning the cloth option. Don't get me wrong we use disposables too, but I love the cloth diapers and have no regrets about this decision at all.

17. Some of my husbands nieces and nephew are older then me.

Not only is my husband 6 years older than me, but there is an 18 year span between his oldest sister and younger brother. So not only do I have a niece and nephew that are older than me, but they also have kids of their own, making me a great aunt by the time I was 20.

18. I can sing like the singer from The Cranberries (for those of you not old enough to remember, they were popular Irish rock band from the 90's.)

One time I even sang "Zombie" on a karaoke machine in Costco, how is that for random?

19. I bathe more than I shower.

My husband is quite a bit taller than me and when he remodeled our bathroom he installed the shower head really high. I feel like the water practically evaporates by the time it reaches me and I get cold. Regardless of this matter I have always liked baths and I bathe most of the time. Not that anyone cares about my bathing rituals, but what I do is wash my hair in the faucet as the tub is filling up with water so that my hair doesn't get oily from bath water. Then the bathing actually begins. I know it's odd, but it is relaxing to me.

20. I really enjoy documentaries like Spell Bound, March of the Penguins, and Expelled.

This is another thing that I am a little bit of a lone ranger on. I have even gone to the indie theaters by myself to watch my beloved nerd films. One time I got into a private VIP screening of March of the Penguins premier. I just happened to be talking to the right person at the right time and they got me on the list. I had never been on a list before, it was very exciting.

Photo: Some of baby Z's diapers hanging on the line in our back yard.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

25 Random Facts #11-15

11. I blog almost everyday at, it would be cool to go pro someday.

Okay so maybe it is just a pipe dream, but who wouldn't love to be compensated for something they do just for the sheer enjoyment of it.

12. I used to work on a farm and milk goats.

I had just read the Maker's Diet at the time and was interested in becoming more organic, getting in touch with the earth and all that natural stuff. It didn't last too long, but I did learn a lot while I was there, like how to milk a goat. Shortly after I started working there, they got a milking machine and then all I had to do was get a couple squirts going by hand and hook 'em up.

13. I love hidden camera shows. When I was little I used to want to be on candid camera. I was always keeping an eye out for the opportunity to be pranked.

Although Candid Camera has been off the air for a long time now my latest favorites are Howie Do It (NBC) and I also like What Would You Do (ABC). Both shows are available on line at their networks website.

14. I have eaten cow tongue.

Lengua De Vaca is a common dish in many cultures, but not mine! This little adventure came about when my friend and I wanted to spice up our Spring Break by challenging each other to do 10 things we have never done before. The dares ranged from dying our hair to having a picnic on top of a car. Eating Cow Tongue was probably the most repugnant.

15. I haven’t drank soda since high school.

I have been soda free for about 8 years now. Unlike any of the other things I have resolved to do I just decided to go from drinking soda to water and I actually did it. I don't know how, but it stuck and although I used to enjoy sugary carbonated beverages I can not even stand to have one sip now. If only I could apply this kind of dedication to my other bad habits.

Photo: That is me with one of the buck's and so I did not milk HIM, however I did bring him food and water and so obviously he was very grateful for it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

25 Random Facts #6-10

6. I know the Greek alphabet.
In the 6th grade I learned a song that recited all the Greek letters from Alpha to Omega and I still remember it. I guess that just goes to show the power of learning with music.

7. I am extremely sentimental and I love to document life.
Whether it be photos, journals, or just little keepsakes, I am obsessed with wanting to remember it all and to be able to pass it down to the next generation. I guess it makes sense then that my business would be called Memory Weaver.

8. I have a pair of pink cowboy boots that my Aunt wore in a movie with Whoopi Goldberg.
My aunt is an actress in LA and one of her first movies was Burglar with Whoopi Goldberg back in 1987. She wore some pink cowboy boots in the movie and a couple years ago she gave them to me. That's just another one of those sentimental things I plan on hanging on to.

9. I used to be a puppeteer and even competed.
Back in middle school I was a part of my churches puppet ministry. We used black lights, high tech equipment, state of the art puppets, and extravagant sets. We traveled some and competed against other puppet teams. Puppetry is definitely an art form. It is a lot more difficult and a lot more work than you would think. I now look at Sesame Street in a whole new way.

10. My vision is fine, but I wore fake glasses for a while in 2003. It must have caused some kind of infection, because now my son has to wear real ones.
I talked last week about my baby boys latest eye wear. Coincidentally, although I have never needed glasses, I think they are cool. A few years ago I found a pair of glasses that someone had lost and I tried them on, just acting silly. Everyone thought they looked good and encouraged me to wear them. My response to them was "great idea... except I CAN'T SEE!" That is when my friend who worked for an optical center, voluntarily changed the lenses out to be non prescription. After no longer having an excuse I used the glasses strictly as an accessory until it just got old. I still have them and they have come in handy with helping my son to learn to wear his.

Photo: That's me in the glasses 6 years ago.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Look Back and Laugh: Random Fact #5

Fact #5: I threw up over a cliff in Acapulco, Mexico.

I was in Acapulco on a missions trip working with an orphanage. We kept busy the entire time we were there until one evening we had the opportunity to go to watch some cliff divers climb up 100 feet onto a tiny ledge and then plunge into the Pacific Ocean with style and finesse. I wasn't feeling all that great, but I really wanted to go with the group. We had worked so hard and this was our chance to relax. Everyone crowded in on the side of this cliff packed with hundreds of tourist hoping to catch a glimpse of the acrobatic stunts. Just before the show began, my stomach started doing some acrobatic stunts of it's own and I began to hurl chunks of recently eaten pizza over the edge of the rocks. I distinctly remember looking over at the strangers beside me and muttering "I'm sick". I guess I thought I needed to explain myself.

On the way back down the rocky hillside I continued to make "deposits" every few steps. My biggest fear in that moment was that it would start coming out the other end- if ya know what I mean. I expressed this concern to my husband and his response was "it's okay, we will still love you." Luckily that didn't happen (at least not until I reached a bathroom.) I did however have a lot of tourist accuse me of having too much tequila. It was a rough night, but one thing is for sure, I will never forget our trip to Acapulco.

25 Random Facts 1-4

1. I can’t hear really high pitches like the sound of a TV or camera turning on.

I didn’t find this out until I was a sophmore in Highschool. One of my friends made mention of the high pitched ringing sound when someone turned on a camera flash. At first I thought it was just a joke, but I soon came to realize it was a frequency that my ears don’t pick up on. From what I understand, I am not missing out on much.

2. If I could go anywhere in the world it would be Ireland.

This has been a dream of mine for a long time. I have always been drawn to green mountainous locations, and the pictures and videos I have seen of Ireland take my breath away. C.S. Lewis, U2, and The Cranberries are all from there so it must be a pretty cool place.

3. I sleep Indian style at night, my husband hates it.

EVERY NIGHT I lay on my back and tuck my feet in behind my knees. It’s just the warmest position and I love it. I have never met anyone else that does this so please let me know if there are any other fellow Indian sleepers out there. The only reason my husband hates it is because it takes up quite a bit of space, but sometimes we compromise on what he calls "the figure 4", where the leg closest to him is straight and my other leg is still bent.

4. The scariest moment in my life was being in a roll over accident on the highway. My 6 months old son was in the car. I freaked out!

I wrote about this in a previous blog, here is the link- The Car Wreck

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chain Letters

I usually steer clear of anything involving "pass this on to X amount of people" whether it be email, snail mail, pyramid schemes, or face book. If I think something is worth passing along, I will do it willingly without being told that I have to, or even worse being threatened if I don't. I got this "note" on Face Book a couple months ago that said "25 Random Things" along with the rules of how it worked and the instructions for passing it on to 25 more people. I didn't even read any further. After a while though I heard more and more about these "25 things" and started reading the notes of friends and family. I found out my midwife had been shot at in a moving vehicle at two different times in her life, I read another note of a friend of mine that had been involved in the Albino Squirrel Preservation Society and even dressed up as a white squirrel on her college campus in order to promote awareness! One after the other I was finding out more random and fascinating things about people on Face Book.

Today I finally bit the bullet and filled out my own "25 random things". I have enjoyed all of it so much that I decided to make that my topic this week, just purely random facts about the messy mom.

For those of you that are my Face Book friends and may have already read all 25 things, this will be a little different. I am spending a whole week on it, so consider it the extended/ enhanced version. Kind of like a bonus DVD with all the special features. It will answer some of the questions you may have about why I ate cow tongue or what it means to sleep Indian style.

In all of this, the best part is you don't have to respond, tag, forward or tell anyone. Although, if you do have random facts that you want to share, I am always open and obviously easily entertained.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dr. Mom

This week I have talked a lot about being Dr. Mom to your family. For me this has recently entailed choosing the right health care provider, cleaning up puke, and having to use eye patches and glasses for my son’s newly discovered vision problems. It’s been very tiring.

Taking care of the health and well being of your children is no easy task. Having a sick kid often involves, late nights, horrible smells, and putting your already backed up schedule on hold. Let’s be honest though, that’s not even the hard part. The hard part is seeing the little one that you love so much having to suffer. It’s watching the one that normally wears you out with energy levels that are through the roof suddenly become feverish and lethargic as they curl up in your arms. No one looks forward to caring for an ailing child.

That’s what we do though; we are there for our kids through thick and thin. Even when we can’t make it all better, or we don’t know how they feel. Sometimes in those moments all you can do is love and nurture. That is difference between a superficial love that is shallow and fleeting and a true bond that runs deep like the love between mother and child. It’s loving and caring even when it breaks your heart.

It breaks my heart to wrestle with my son everyday in order to bandage up his good eye and tape it shut leaving it in complete darkness, but I will continue to do it as long as have to in order for him to be completely whole.

Just like it breaks a mother’s heart to hold her child while they get a shot, or rub alcohol over an infected wound. It’s not the highlight of our job, but we do it because we want what is best for them. It’s hard work being “Dr. Mom” and unlike a real doctor you’ll never see a dime for the time you put in, but one thing is for sure, it does offer some great benefits.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Babies First Glasses

Yesterday I talked about Z's eye appointment and how he has been diagnosed with Amblyopia and has to wear a patch over his right eye for 3 hours everyday in order to strengthen the left eye, which is the weak one.

We were kind of expecting this report because he started looking cross eyed. What we weren't expecting to hear however, is that he is extremely farsighted and has been straining to see. Almost everyone has some amount of astigmatism and especially children under the age of 8 can tend to be farsighted. It is only a problem if it is beyond normal, like in Z's case. The glasses will allow him to be able to focus better. Constant straining can lead to permanent damage. So that's the good news, we caught it at a really good time to keep it from being something he will always have to struggle with. The glasses just came in yesterday and so far he has done quite well.

So although, I may not be thrilled about having to patch Z's eye for 3 hours a day and keep glasses on him at all times, I am grateful that we can do something proactive to get him to see at his fullest potential. Not to mention, that he looks darn cute.

Photo 1: Z getting his first pair of glasses at 5th avenue optical in Ft Worth
Photo 2: Just as active as ever, Z spent his first night with glasses just as rambunctious as ever!

Froogie Boogie: Generic Drugs

There are some things that I just don't do generic, as snobby as that sounds. The top of this list would be ice cream, then toilet paper, followed by coffee. However, I am all about generics when comes to many products especially medicine!

We had our son circumcised by a rabbi who gave us a short list of supplies that we needed to provide. One of which was Neosporin, however when we showed up with Neosporin we got quite the scolding. "What is this? Don't you know to buy generic? You spent too much. I have a friend that worked in a Neosporin warehouse, they just change out the tubes the only difference is the packaging." I had heard this from a professor in my marketing class in business school, he said this was particularly true with drugs, but for some reason I take the financial advice more seriously coming from a Jew.

I now heed the Rabi's teaching and we buy all of our medication generic including prescriptions. The only exception is my stash of name brand Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin etc. that I got for free at CVS, you coupon froogies know what I am talking about. As I mentioned before not all generic items are created equal. Johnson & Johnson for example have a notice on their bottles that states that they DO NOT make store brands. If you get something that says "compare to J&J lotion" you can compare it, but it won't be the same. It's a personal preference and though I have tried a few generic duds, it's been worth it to find the dozens of good ones.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ahoy Matey!

Ahoy! This week I am talking about taking on the role of Dr. Mom. So, what's with the pirate talk? Well to begin, a couple months ago we started noticing that Z wasn't able to focus on things very well and would often look cross eyed. At first I just chalked it up to being a silly face. He has always been extremely expressive like his mother, and I make a lot of crazy faces too.

It didn't take long before we began to have some concern and decided to get it checked out. The doctor told us that his left eye was weak and she set us up with pediatric eye specialist to do further testing. Sure enough the results showed that Z's left eye just wasn't keeping up with the right one. It was explained to us that when this happens you are seeing double and the brain doesn't like that so it just "shuts off" the weaker eye. This is the reason people end up with a lazy eye. Luckily it doesn't have to be lazy, it just needs to work out a little bit. Kind of like me.

The treatment for this is to cover up the good eye in order to force the weak eye to exercise it's abilities and become stronger. Over time both eyes will be able to see in unison and the problem is solved. For Z this means that he has to wear a patch over his right eye 3 hours a day. That's were the pirate part comes in. The patches are actually pretty cute. We've gone with a brand that is specially made for children and they have different patterns and sizes. The problem is, they don't stay on. I can't blame Z, he does pretty well with the patches, but they just don't stick! That means I have to secure it with bandage tape, which is not so cute. That's okay though, most of the time no one even sees it.

The thing is, the eye doctor's diagnosis didn't end there. I will get to part 2 tomorrow. Until then "Set Sail, me matey!"

A couple pics Germ took with his phone

Z sporting his taped up Ortopad eye patch.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


My skin is far from perfect so I don't know why I thought my baby would be any different. He's gone through all kinds of rashes between now and when he was born 17 months ago. First there was from the droolathon, then he got paci rash, and the latest issue has been weather related chapped skin. The best product that I have found in dealing with all of this has been Aquaphor healing ointment. He still gets little red bumps here and there, but it drastically reduced the chapped skin and irritation.

It has multiple uses and can be used on adults too, which I think makes a medicine cabinet must have. The basic purpose of this lotion is for the relief of dry, cracked, or irritated skin. I had a hard time finding it at first. In some stores it is in a smaller tube by the chap stick and moisturizers, while other places actually carry the baby version which is found with baby items, but most grocery stores and pharmacies do have it.

If your baby takes a pacifier and they get redness around the mouth area I recommend putting right on the pacifier (not the nipple, just the ring around it) and it acts a barrier to help with the rubbing and chaffing. This also allows for VERY easy application. That works for me, or I guess I should say works for Z (my baby), and when he's happy everybody wins.

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For more information on Aquaphor check out