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Dec 22, 2010

An Open Letter to Sears

Dear Sears,

I have worked in Customer Service and Retail for 10 years and I have never encountered the rudeness that are Sears call center associates.  WEEKS ago, I placed an order for a car charger adapter.  It took Sears THREE WEEKS to e-mail me telling me the order had been canceled.  Meanwhile, I had been calling and inquiring, they would always tell me the order was on it's way when it was not.  After I received very late e-mail telling me the order was canceled, I called back to place the order. The first agent I spoke to RUDELY told me that she could not give me the sales price of the item that I PAID FOR and I would have to now pay full price.  Now, come on, Sears, I've worked in retail long enough to know that your rude agent was bullshitting me.  (And oh yes, she was very rude to me too. She treated me like I was a 5 year old who got scolded for not listening to the rules.)  I hung up out of anger and because I had other things to do. 

Calling back the day after actually gave me the one nice agent that I had spoke to.  He placed my order again for me and told me that he would give me the sale price that I had originally paid.  I was happy to actually speak to someone who cared for a customer.  (Or at least seemed like it.)  My order was placed and I was a happy camper.  Unfortunately, this isn't the "happily ever after" ending when I STILL had not received my item.  Called numerous times to rude associates who told me the item was shipped, I should be receiving it soon, etc...  Two weeks later I got the package.  They told me 5-7 business days when it took 15 to send it?  Come on, Sears...

Fast forward to Thursday night... I go online to check my credit card bill and to tally how much I spent this Holiday season when I see Sears took $79.00 off my card.  Oh really?  For what?  I call sears to get ANOTHER angry and rude agent who told me that I had not cancelled my ShipVantage membership and that's why I was charged.  I told said agent that I had an agent cancel it for me after the second order that I placed. Agent gets VERY angry with me and tells me that I'm feeding him a line because I didn't want my card to be charged.  No, I had canceled it and was angry that they still charged my card.  That agent rudely hung up on me.

I call back an hour later and speak to an agent who said she cancelled it, but I would have to wait 10 days for the shipping department to call me to tell me if I can even GET a refund.  No, no, no, I'm not going to do that.  I demanded to speak to a manager.  After asking me many questions that I REFUSED to answer, I got a manager on the phone.  Oddly, this manager told me Sears' computers were down.  It was shocking especially since the agent prior was able to tell me the information from the computer, but this girl couldn't even pull up any information?  Hmm...  I was told I would get a call back in 2 hours.  Friday passed, Saturday passed, Sunday passed, Monday passed and part of Tuesday.  I wasn't waiting any longer.  That 2 hours was turning into a week very quickly. 

Today when I called I encountered 3 rude (very rude) reps who refused to transfer me to a manager and EACH of them said I was acting irrationally and hung up on me.  IRRATIONALLY?!  DO YOU WANT TO SEE IRRATIONAL!?  TELL ME AGAIN THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHEN I AM GOING TO GET MY MONEY BACK!  I called a third time, hoping not to go completely nuts on the agent, when this agent asked me over and over again, "What is your name?" "What is your order number?" "Why are you so upset?"  Listen, if I have to tell you my name (and spell it) 5 times, there's something wrong.  When I have to explain to you 5 times that I DO NOT HAVE AN ORDER NUMBER, you're not listening to me. AND THEY WONDER WHY I AM UPSET.  I eventually refused to answer anything else until I got a manager.  After being put on hold for 15 minutes, I finally got a manager.  (Who had absolutely no compassion for me.)  This manager tried for 35 minutes to pull up my account with my name. 

"Are you sure you used your name for the order?"
No, I used Abraham Lincoln's name...WHAT DO YOU THINK?

"What is your order number?"
For the 100th time, I DO NOT HAVE AN ORDER NUMBER.

"Ok, then we can't pull your account, are you sure you shopped with Sears?"
No, not at all. I just feel like calling and telling you off for nothing. It's amusement to me.

"Maybe we canceled your order. If so, you'll get a refund."
Ok, let me say this like I'm speaking to my kids... I... DO... NOT... HAVE... AN... ORDER.

"Oh, you don't have an order? Then why did we charge you $79?"
I am just the customer! I found it on my credit card statement! Why don't YOU tell me, Sears Supervisor... (if that is your real name.)

After going back and forth with this unhelpful supervisor and a long ("brief", they called it) hold, she came back and told me that the agent prior who said she canceled the ShipVantage NEVER DID and she would do it for me now.  She also told me that I would have my money back in 3-5 business days.  I'm praying I do, but after the crap I have gone through with Sears, I'm not holding my breath. 

The kicker, before she ended the call, she asked me "Do you have a Sears credit card and would you like more information about signing up for one?"  No, no thank you.  I'm never shopping with Sears again.  JC Penney has much better customer service and I'll use THEIR credit card.  I WAS a Sears card holder, but no longer.  Not after the way the agents made me feel small and insignificant when customers are supposed to be one of the most important part of the company.

So much for good customer service with that company.

Dec 8, 2010

These few weeks aren't getting any better.

I'm so sorry I haven't gotten the giveaway winner yet, and I'm going to be doing that today.  In addition to working three jobs and working over 50 hours in my full time job, my mom was in the hospital yesterday.  She has known she needs knee surgery for such a long time, but yesterday it got so bad, I took her to the ER.  Of course, they said that she does need the knee surgery, but she also had crazy high blood pressure.  She hasn't been on meds because of her lack of insurance, but I told her that we have to figure something out because she needs to be on the meds or the doctor said she can have a stroke any time now.  So, we're re-budgeting everything. 

Absolutely crazy here, but I'm going to blog and post the giveaway winners after my phone shift at 3pm today.  Once I'm on my chat shift at work, It will be so much easier to blog and get things done.

Stay tuned!

Nov 27, 2010


Happy Belated Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday filled with food, family and relaxation.  I missed blogging and you guys all week, but I haven't had the chance to do anything.  Honestly, I even had to take some time off from work, which was insanity.  Let me give a quick overview of my week from hell. (And I am not exaggerating when I say that.)

My mother decided that we were going to go Thanksgiving shopping AND bring the kids.  Now, just saying that makes you cringe, doesn't it?  Well, the part that makes me cringe even more is having to go with my mother.  I love my mom, don't get me wrong, but she shops at a snails pace.  She goes down every aisle carefully observing every single thing on the shelf.  She doesn't understand the meaning of speed grocery shopping, as I do.  (Especially when we leave at 11 am and I have to work at 1pm)  So, my mom is walking down every aisle at about 0.5 MPH and I offer to take the list and another cart.  Here is how that went...

Me: "Mom, why don't you just let me get another cart and help out with the list?"

Mom: "I don't get out much. I can do it."

Me: "Is there anything I can run and get for you to make this easier?"

Mom: "Do you think I am handicapped? I can do it myself."

Me: "Why don't you just give me half the list and I could help out?"

Mom: "Fine, go get me a bag of chips."

A bag of chips?  That's it?  I constantly go grocery shopping for my mom.  It isn't like I don't know how to do it.  I also do understand that she doesn't get out much because of her knee, but I'm sure her knee would be much better if she hurried up at the grocery store and got home and off of it.  In the middle of this, after bringing the chips back, I hear this from my daughter:

Alayna: "Mommy, I lost my American Girl doll hat! Lainie doesn't have her hat!"  So here I go, Alayna in tow, looking for this tiny pink American Girl hat that has mysteriously disappeared.  We walk for about 10 minutes before we find the damn hat by the frozen turkeys.   OF COURSE - No shopping trip with the kids is complete without some kind of incident.  

Here it is, now 12:45 and I tell my mom that either I have to go home and pick her up on my break or she has to hurry up so we can get out of the store.  She sighs in frustration and tells me that we can check out what we already have and I can go back to the store the day after.  Oh lovely, the excitement, I cannot wait to go back Thanksgiving shopping closer to Thanksgiving.  

We get out of the store, I get home to get onto my system for work and I find out the loveliest thing: My phone isn't working for work.  I try to pick the phone up to call into work and I hear nothing, dead air.  Of course, Verizon tech support remains to be useless as it has been for years, and I'm just more frustrated than anything that I couldn't get to work.  Verizon tells me that they can send me a replacement.  That's nice, but I lose money while they send that to me?  Not an option.  I decide to go to fight with them in person.  

Remember, the closest Verizon Wireless store to me is in Staten Island.  It isn't far, but I have to pay $8 for the bridge to get into New York. 

I get there and completely freak out on the lady behind the desk. (Of course, it isn't her fault, but I had to be overly dramatic for effect and for her to know I was absolutely serious.) After I was done the poor lady looked like a deer in the headlights because I had really let her have it.  Needless to say, I had to buy another phone because they no longer sell the hub. (That was pretty much a loser product lol)  Thank God for my plastic money. (aka: Credit card) Because I had no cash on me.  So now, I wait for a rebate in the mail to recoup some of my money.

Oh wait, but it gets better.  Last Saturday my uncle had trouble with his car starting.  He was home all week because he had surgery and was to be heading back.  His car wouldn't start so they towed it and I drove him back.  Well this week they gave us a call back and told us that we had to call a tow truck to take his car to Nissan.  It was probably his key and the computer chip in it not working.  Goodie Goodie Gumdrops...  Our AAA card is in my mom's name, so of course I had to drive her because my uncle wasn't there.  

FOUR AND A HALF HOURS we were waiting at Firestone for them to tow the freaking car to Nissan. (Which is 10 minutes away)  First they had forgotten about our service call, then they told the service car it was a lock out, then they canceled that since it wasn't and forgot to put in our new service call for a tow.  So imagine two kids in a repair shop waiting room for four hours. I don't think we're ever going to be allowed back into that repair shop again... Ever... 

The next day we were told that it was the main computer system in his car.  $1400 to fix a 12 year old car.  I suggested to my uncle to finance a new car.  His car probably is worth just a little over the $1400 and it wouldn't be worth it to fix an older car like that.  Hopefully he listens to me. 

Now, this bad luck had been drawn out through every day this week.  Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were terrible and something happened each day.  Monday, I had lost an entire day of work because of these messes that I had to take care of.  

Thursday (Thanksgiving) I wake up and smell something terrible.  Of course, I was exhausted so I disregarded it. lol  Next thing I hear is Alayna waking up and running into the kitchen, "Grandma! Call 911! There's a fire!"  I want to ease your minds, there wasn't a fire.  Though the smoke was so thick you could cut it with a knife.  After my mom comes into the kitchen cursing everything out, she tells us what had happened.

She was melting margarine in a pan to make her stuffing and put the ignition on HIGH HEAT instead of LOW HEAT.  It wasn't a fire, but our cast iron frying pan burnt so badly the smoke was terrible.  I have asthma... So I'm unable to breathe and I had to go downstairs to get fresh air.  Our hall way STILL smells of smoke.  Disgusting.  

Yesterday, I went out at the wee hours of the morning in order to go shopping.  Yes, I am crazy.  I freely admit that I am.  I have been told by everyone I know.  Last year was the first year I started to go out Black Friday shopping and I fell in love with it.  I got all of my Christmas shopping done and got home at 8:15 AM yesterday morning.  Needless to say, I didn't work yesterday.  I never expected to be out that late, but I hit quite a few stores and didn't spend that much money at all.  I can relax now and know I have no other shopping to do. :)  The joy.

I will get those winners for my two giveaways tomorrow morning and Im going to announce two more as well!  Keep posted!

Nov 19, 2010

It DOES get better. Bullying and the effect on confidence.

Bullying is a topic that is near and dear to my heart because I had been the one bullied for years.  I was an adopted, geeky, slightly chubby, glasses & braces wearing child.  Now, you may think that adopted doesn't quite fit in with the other normal reasons to be bullied, but in my case it does.  You will never know what it feels like to be told by classmates that your mother didn't want you, that you were thrown in the trash, that you were unloved.  Of course, I know none of that is true, but that's now.  When I was a child facing these horrible things that I was told, I believed it.  I started to believe that maybe I wasn't wanted and maybe my [adoptive] mother didn't even want me.  When you feel unloved, out casted and unwanted, there is little that matters in life.  I had a taste of depression and anxiety at an early age because of the cruel children that decided to put me down and even worse, kick me while I was down. (Figuratively, of course...with words...)

When I was in fifth grade I faced bullying from a teacher. Yes, I said a teacher.  The main reason for her bullying was because I was adopted.  I don't remember exactly what she would say because I have pushed it out of my mind, but they were cruel things.  It wasn't only me that was being bullied, there was another adopted kid in the class who she picked on as well.  My "teacher"'s bulllying got so bad one day, I asked to go to the bathroom and just left completely.  I left my backpack there and just left.  I couldn't handle it anymore and cried.  That night, I had a nervous breakdown and refused to ever go back to that school again.  My mother transferred me to a public school.  

I continued to be bullied until I graduated HIGH SCHOOL.  The bullying even got so bad that I would get physically hurt and humiliated.  There was one time that I was walking to the front of the room for a presentation and someone actually tripped me purposely.  Things were thrown at me and (yes this happens in real life) kick me signs were put on my back.  In High School I would get actual death threats and threats to my well being because of dating guys or just walking past someone.  No one would help with the threats.  My school had just told me it was "childish behavior" that will go away.  They may have been able to write it off, but I had my mother pick me up from school every single day and drive me home, even though I lived right around the corner.  My fears and anxiety got even worse because of those who threatened me.  I would fear going to school or walking through the halls.    

Bullying and being degraded in such a way really takes a toll on your self confidence and the way you carry yourself.  For the longest time I hated myself.  I wasn't sure of my purpose here, just as the others do.  However, I never had suicidal thoughts because I knew that my family meant the world to me, even if people had been bullying me.  I was very depressed and never wanted to do anything because I was afraid that I would constantly get made fun of.  Even now, my confidence is still fairly low.  It has been built up a slight bit since I was younger, but it is still deeply impacted by my past.

Now, I teach my children to be respectful of others.  I teach them that they cannot make fun of someone because of their differences.  Everyone is special in their own way and no one deserves to be degraded or made fun of.  My girls understand and they are very respectful and polite little girls. (Well, when they want to be.)  Bullying is still a topic that is very important to me.  Maybe my story can help someone else who is going through the same thing.  There was much more that went on in the way of bullying besides what I wrote about up there.  Though, if I had gone through everything, we would be here for days...

(Inspired by Mama Kat's prompt: In what way were you labeled as a child and how did it affect you?)

Nov 18, 2010

Toothpicks, meet eyes...

I wish giving birth to a baby came with an owners manual.  Honestly, I can use one.  Motherhood had no warning: May cause extreme exhaustion after the first cutesy year of their lives. Nope, nada, none what so ever.  Although I should have known the exhaustion and frustration that motherhood sometimes causes, I didn't think of it until it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Both of my girls were perfect for the first year of their lives, actually, Alayna never hit the terrible twos until she was almost three...  She's now five and they're not gone yet.  Worst part is, her hyperactivity sometimes eggs Olivia on and makes her run around like a crazy person as well.  

When you become a mother all of your perfectionism and cleanliness goes out the window.  You may try to keep up after the kids and pick up every time they take things out and don't put them away, but it's impossible. As much as you may not believe it, you will probably end up standing in piles of toys up to your knees and completely ignoring it.  I've gotten used to wading through toys to get through to my living room or their bedroom.  It's now a part of life!  I used to be ashamed to admit, there are nights where I go to bed leaving the mess as it is.  Those are the nights I have no energy nor do I have the concern for what my home looks like.  I just want to get the hell to bed and try to get some sleep!  I figure that I will pick it up in the morning, or anytime that I have the energy to.  No one drops by my house unannounced, why should it always be clean?  

Working practically two jobs and being a single mom is even more difficult.  That's my life.  I have a full time 40 hour a week job in which I work from home.  I lock myself in a tiny room with a desk and computer for 9-12 hours a day and help other people via phones and web.  How can it be exhausting? I don't leave the house!  Well, it is.  sitting in one place and staring at a computer screen for hours is mundane and exhausting.  Even though I love my job so much, there are days that I have to fight to keep my eyes open.  There are days when I find myself getting extremely tongue tied on the phones because I can't even think straight.  Those days are the worst, they drag along.  No amount of coffee or espresso or any energy drinks can make that exhaustion go away; not even temporarily...  

Then, I have my freelancing job.  I am a freelance writer and most of that work gets pushed to the back if I'm too exhausted to stand or move at the end of the day.  Otherwise, I am usually up until 2-4 am trying to meet my deadlines and writing articles over and over until they're perfect.  If I can sleep, I get to bed at 3 or 5 am and have to be up again by 7...  (Unless it's a lucky day when my mom decides to bring Alayna to school.)  I just start the entire day all over again and hope that maybe I'll have time to take a shower, shave my legs or just breathe that day.

Being a mother is an exhausting job, but it's also very rewarding.  I love my girls and would do anything for them, and that is why I work two jobs besides my blogging.  Because I want the best for them and I know that working is the way to provide for them.  I'm not at all complaining about my jobs, I love them and feel lucky to have jobs that I enjoy... I'm complaining about the lack of sleep and "mother's burn out" that I experience almost daily.  

(Inspired by Mama Kat's prompt: Why are you burned out?)

She's like my sister...

I was never the teenager that had a lot of friends.  When I was in high school, my "group" consisted of two people who were completely different than I was and that is it.  Actually, I was the girl who got made fun of.  Oh yeah, bullied beyond belief.  That got so bad that I wouldn't want to go to school.  I wanted to stay home in bed all day and sulk about how terrible I was.  Of course, that was not an option and I had to find comfort somewhere, so I did turn to the internet.

The year was 2001 and I had found a message board for the group 'N Sync, who I was a huge fan of, so I decided to join and see what it was all about.  To make a very long story short, I had met someone who introduced me to a friend of hers... Her friend's name was Lauren.  We started talking and hit it off right away.  About a week later we had spoken on the phone and every day and every night we would talk to each other VIA phone or internet. (or even both at the same time!)  Lauren and I quickly became best friends, the kind of friend that I had never had before this.  She was someone that I could vent to, I could go to for guy advice, someone who was just like me in some ways but completely different too.  Finally, I had someone I could lean on and confide in.  

October of 2001 brought Lauren and myself wanting to get together.  I had been figure skating at that time and decided to ask Lauren to meet me at the skating rink.  The problem was, she had to get her mother to drive her. (Since we were 14 and 15, respectively...)  I had not lied to my mom about the situation, I just withheld the information from her that Lauren was coming.  (Of course, that's not how she recounts it, but it's the truth!)  -- But I digress -- Finally, after my skating session, Lauren got to the rink with her mother and we spent a very long time talking to each other and having just as much fun in person as we did online and on the phone.  Our mothers also had a great conversation and got to know each other better.  

After that Lauren and I saw each other twice a year.  She lived two hours from us, so it was impossible for us to get together more often, but we wanted to.  Once I went to college, since I went to college in Philadelphia, Lauren and I became even closer.  At that point, I lived only 15-20 minutes from her house, so I would go there often.  Honestly, I think I was at her house more than I was in my dorm room.  Her mother quickly became more like a mother to me than I realized in the years prior.  

I owe a hell of a lot to Lauren.  She is someone who can drive me crazy but keep me sane at the same time.  She is someone who I look up to, even though she's younger than me.  She's someone who I can call with the stupidest problem, and she will make me laugh.  She is someone that even though we don't talk too much anymore, once we do call each other, it's like we never stopped talking.  She is someone that taught me the real meaning of friendship, and was it means to have someone that knows you better than you know yourself. And she definitely does.  She is more like my sister than my own sister is and we will always be best friends.  

Thank you Laur, for 11 years of EVERYTHING!!

(Inspired by Mama Kat's prompt - That one time you met your online friend in real life (was it everything you thought it would be?)

Chasing Bugs and Teacher Meetings

I admire any mother who can actually be energetic and make use of all of the hours in a day.  God knows, I do try my best to but I can't.  It's impossible for me to do anything that I have to do when I work 9-12 hours and then have to clean after the messes the kids made while I was working, make dinner and hope that my kids decide to go to bed on time.  It's absolutely impossible.  There are times when I feel like I need a week vacation, I dream of going somewhere remote and warm and peaceful -- then I snap back into reality and realize that I am a single mom of my two little terrors.  I don't have time for vacations!  The most time that I do have for myself is when I'm working.  Other than that, maybe once a week I go out with my friend for dinner or to just unwind.  

Honestly, I think I figured that when I started working from home I wouldn't be so exhausted.  That was the wrong thing to think.  Even though I am sitting on my butt all day and working on my computer, I'm absolutely exhausted.  Even more tired than I was when I worked outside the home.  I'm not sure if it is because I know I can be lazy and I'm aware that my bed is just a few steps away or if using my brain is making me so exhausted. (Ha!  Everyone that knows me knows that my brain is hardly ever used otherwise...)  There are days, hours or moments where I can barely keep my eyes open.  There are times when I feel so sick and it's all due to the extreme exhaustion.  I could only pray for a good night of sleep, that's impossible as well.  Once I finally am able to go to sleep -- my insomnia kicks in and I just can't shut off to go to sleep.  Irony...

Today was another one of those busy days.  Had to get Alayna to school, get back in time for work, go to pick her up from school on my lunch break, had to pick up lunch on the way home and then get back to work.  Not only that, but I also had to take some time this afternoon to go to Alayna's parent-teacher conference.   Since she is in Pre-K they don't give report cards, but they do give verbal progress reports.  I wasn't surprised to hear that Alayna is beyond Pre-K knowledge.  I knew this last year when I felt she should have been in school.  Her teacher is in disbelief that she can copy a sentence that her teacher writes, she's in awe that Alayna's art talent is as good as it is and she cannot believe that Alayna has so much knowledge in her little head.  She had told me that Alayna answers almost all of the questions that her teacher asks.  Needless to say, I was a very proud mommy.  I'm not exactly sure where my daughter gets her brains from...sure as hell not me!

Afterwards, while eating dinner, we had a riot in our kitchen -- there as a bug on the ceiling.  It wasn't just a fly, it was the ugliest S.O.B that you had EVER seen.  This thing was huge and gave us all the creeps.  Of course, my girls couldn't calmly leave the room, they had to run screaming into the living room.  As if the bug was going to attack them.  They're a hundred times bigger than it.  I am much more bave! (Or so I thought.)  My mom and uncle are sitting there laughing as I go into the hallway to get our swiffer.  By the time I got back in the kitchen, the bug was no longer on the ceiling and I couldn't find it.  So, I had the stupid thought to stand on the chair and maybe take a look on top of our ceiling fan.  Maybe he climbed up there...  I get on the chair and turn my head and...

I'm face to buggy eye face with that little ugly mofo bug...

So of course, being the brave super mom I am, I jump off the chair, throw the swiffer at my mom and run screaming to the other side of the room.  Oh yes I did.  When it comes to big ugly bugs, I'm not brave.  I hate them.  They make me itchy just looking at them. (Or just thinking about them.  I'm itching right now.)

To make a long story short, we got the bug...and his brother who came to look for him after we killed the first one...  Disgusting, ew, i.... hate.... bugs....

Nov 16, 2010

Tuesday Tag Along and Follow Me Back Tuesday...

Yes, yes, I am actually participating again in the Tuesday link-ups! :)  I used to always love to, but when I lost track of blogging late summer, I just forgot about everything!  So, let's get this Tuesday party started! LOL!

Well, you can read a lot about me --> in my "About Me" section, but I'll give you who I am in a nutshell right now.  I'm a 25 year old single mother who is also an artist.  I would love to be an artist full time, but unfortunately that's not working out right... Starving artist is more like it... Some days more starving than others.  ;)  I'm a personal shopper as well as a freelance writer.  Love-my-jobs. (No matter how much it seems like I complain.)  I actually work from home, which is more challenging than you think but more rewarding than you think.

Living 20 minutes from New York City is my downfall.  Honestly, I spend too much time there both by myself and with my kids.  Spending money on Broadway shows is another down fall of mine since I have always loved theater.  I am currently trying to get my girls loving theater just as much as I did/do!  Unfortunately, since getting my full time job, I can't go as much as I used to.  (But at least now I'll actually have the money to! lol)

That's pretty much all I can say about myself -- I hate talking about myself.  Feel free to add me to FB, Twitter or leaving a comment below!  I follow everyone back who follows me.   


Nov 15, 2010

Flat Tires, Thanksgiving and FOOD!! Monday Mingle for Nov 15th!

How hectic!  Last week was pretty crazy since I worked over 40 hours and went on an interview for a second job.  I went for the interview with H&R Block (Which I worked for, 2 tax seasons past...)  and it seems very promising.  I did explain to them that I have a full time job and can probably only work nights and weekends.  They were very sweet and very accommodating.  I really don't want anything to mess up my full time job because I am doing very well and I am very happy with it.  Of course, the extra income is always something that is welcome around here...  It will be crazy if I do end up getting that job as well, but making money and providing for my kids is the most important. :)

Today is going to be a struggle to actually get work done.  My uncle is having his second cataract surgery and that means my mom is at the hospital with him.  I have to work at 10 and Olivia is home with me while Alayna is in school.  Thank God, after I pick her up from school, my grandmother offered to take the both of them for a little while so I can work...  It won't be that bad until I have to pick her up, but it will be a struggle trying to keep Olivia quiet while I work on the phones.  At least she may fall asleep within the next 20 minutes.  (One can hope, right?)

I want to get another giveaway posted today or tomorrow, so keep a look out for that!  It's gonna be a great one too!  I have so much to get done on my blog and so little time to do it all in!  I also have articles that have deadlines within the next 48 hours... Will I get everything done on time?  Well, I'm hoping I will!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Nov 8, 2010

Monday Mingle: November 8, 2010 & A new job!?

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I tried to with only one day off. (Sunday)  I was as lazy as I could possibly be too! :)  So, since I'm back into blogging full time, I decided to participate in the Monday Mingle again!  I do apologize for the harsh lighting as I need new lightbulbs in my room/office and all I had was a very bright lamp that gave an annoying glare.  Oh well, better that than a very grainy dark video, right?  I need to learn how to use my Flip Cam for these things! (Or maybe I need that new bloggy/webby whatever it is! lol)

While I was working I did get a call from H&R Block.  They wanted me to come back this year a a Customer Service Coordinator or a Tax Preparer... While I am a certified tax preparer, I'm petrified to actually put that certification to use and do taxes. LOL  I know the entire form is online and it's simple because the computer calculates everything for you, but I still worry.  Getting certified was just something I did out of boredom and I didn't ever think I would put it to use.  Well, since I do need another job, I hopefully can get hired by H&R Block at night and on weekends, when I am off from BlueFly.  I could use the dual income.  Let's cross our fingers!

Don't forget to enter our great Giveaways:

Nov 6, 2010

Libman Freedom Spray Mop Review & Giveaway

Why do we LOVE this floor mop?

We have super sensitive laminate floors that were put in wrong, so when we wash our floors we have to be super careful not to use a sponge mop that leaves the floor damp.  We aren't allowed to let moisture seep between our planks.  Well, it's impossible to find the right mop and floor cleaner for that.  I have tried numerous mops that claim to be perfect for laminate, but they all leave the floor damp.  

When we were offered to review the Libman Freedom Spray Mop I jumped at the chance.  Of course, I didn't know what to expect of it since we had tried numerous mops previous to this!  I wasn't sure if it was actually going to be something that worked or thrown in the basement with all the others.

This. Mop. Works!   I love the reusable microfiber pad because it saves so much money.  With a lot of those mops you have to buy the disposable wet pads or even new sponge mop heads every so often because of wear and tear.  Those things both can cost a pretty penny!!  This mop is so much different.  The microfiber pad is super absorbent and you can throw it right into the washing machine when you're done washing your floors.   You can also use your own favorite floor cleaner for the light mist that gets sprayed out!  This mop does not leave your floors slippery and damp.  It gives your floors a visible clean!  (Oh, and the swivel head is just SO great!! I can clean without having to really try to maneuver it.)

Doesn't push dirt around.

 With many of the mops you need a bucket of water filled with water/solution.  That was the way to wash your floors for the longest time, but it wasn't a successful way.  Whenever you would put the mop back into the bucket to rinse it off or get more moisture, you would put the dirt BACK on your floors.  The clean you had gotten with that was a FAKE clean.  Not with the Libman!  No buckets, no mop heads, just the floor solution in the well and SPRAY to clean!  This mop is so easy and so much fun!!

This mop retails for 19.99-24.99 but one of my lucky readers will get one for FREE!!


Moms Bloggers Club and Libman want to give one of my lovely readers a Libman Freedom Spray Mop for FREE!!

Mandatory Entry:

What do you currently use on your floor and how can Libman Freedom make your floor cleaning better?

Extra Entries:
Follow Our Blog - +1 Entry
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Win a Libman Freedom Spray Mop from @kickitykickball #giveaways
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Good Luck!  Giveaway ends on November 23  2010.

Nov 5, 2010

Are parents more cruel than their children?

I recently read this blog about a little 5 year old boy wanting to dress as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween.  His mom did allow it and he looked so adorable in the costume, however the little boy was very scared to go to school with the costume because he felt he would be bullied by his classmates.  The blog goes on to say how his mother encouraged him to go because on Halloween you can be anyone you wish to be.  The kids seemed to have no problem with it but the parents ridiculed him and his mother.

Many children are cruel and abusive to others, but some parents are worse.  I do strongly believe that kids can be whatever they would like to be for Halloween and that has no impact on who they are.  Just because this little boy wanted to be one of his favorite characters doesn't mean he's gay or setting a bad example for the other children.  If my daughter wanted to be Superman or if she wanted to be Spiderman, would that be a problem? Would I be ridiculed for letting her dress as a male character?  Definitely not.  That is a double standard.  It's just not right. 

Those parents should be the ones to blame when a child turns into a bully in the future.  They are the ones setting the bad example for their kid by criticizing a mother for letting her son dress up for Halloween.  I don't believe this mother should have told him no at all.  This is a 5 year old little boy.  At that age, they don't know the difference between gay and straight.  Kids have active imaginations and will like what they like.  Children do not understand stereotypes at that age and I don't think the other children would have had a problem with it; just their mothers.

I give the little boy's mom a lot of credit for being so calm when she was getting attacked by the other mom's for letting her son dress the way he did for the Holiday.  I would have went off on all of those parents because, how dare they tell another mother how to parent or dress her son?!  I actually feel sorry for those parents who ridiculed her because they are so closed minded.  I feel bad for their children as well because they probably won't grow up to be open to all types of people.  I just hope they don't become bullies who bruise other people's self confidence...

Halloween is made for children to use their imaginations and step out of themselves for the time being.  Children can be whatever they desire and that is the fun of that Holiday.

What do you think of this matter?

Nov 4, 2010

Thank God It's Friday!

I feel like I haven't participated in the Friday Bloghops in so long.  Well, that's simply because I haven't!  Those of you who are new, I'd like to welcome you to Mommy Misc... :)  We currently are under re-construction and hope to have our grand re-opening around Thanksgiving. 

My name is Kristin and I am a 25 year old single mom of two girls.  I reside in New Jersey (It's really not that smelly, honest...)  and I spend most of my time in New York City since I live 20 minutes away.  I love theater, I love writing, I love my girls and I love shopping. :)

I work from home as a customer service agent and personal shopper for Bluefly and I am also a freelance writer.  I did have my own business, but that is on hold while I make a regular income. lol :)  I also write this blog and enjoy doing so.  It's a past-time of mine!

I really don't know what else to say about myself, but I am always open to questions!  

We currently have a giveaway going on for Brilliant Lenses.  You can click the banner up the top to enter that!  Saturday we will be posting a new giveaway, so be sure you come and check us out!  If you want to keep posted on our giveaways and articles, join our twitter, our feed or our Facebook to be notified!

Carmex Healing Cream & Lotion Review

This post brought to you by Carmex®. All opinions are 100% mine.

We recently had the chance to review Carmex new line of healing products the Healing Lotion and Healing Cream.  Not knowing what to expect from this line, I tried the small tube of the healing cream first. (As well as throwing it in my purse for easy use on the go!)   I quickly noticed the wonderful scent of a light vanilla when squeezing the tiny bit into my hand and it was just a great scent.  Most of the other healing creams that I have used were very medical scented.  They did not have a pleasant scent at all!  This cream I actually enjoy to put on and enjoy the smell.

I also quickly realized that this product really worked.  In cold weather I have very dry skin, and I realized that this product did seep into my skin and soften it for quite a while.  I was surprised and very happy that this product did work for me.  

The healing cream is the more concentrated and thicker of the two.  It is best for the problem areas that are often very dry.  I do wish the cream came in bigger packaging because I would love to have more of it to use more often.

The lotion is great to use after a bath when your skin is still damp.  It really gets into your skin and softens it a great deal.  I use both the cream and the lotion daily as part of my skin care regimine.  I really enjoy this product!

Check out Carmex® Healing Lotion and Carmex® Healing Cream

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Ten Tips for New Moms on Bringing a Baby Home!

I remember getting closer to my due date(s) and getting the nursery all ready for the new baby.  It seems like it was the longest time ago, but I do remember it very clearly.  Distinctly I remember making a list of things that we would need and posting it up as my check list along with a count down of the days I had left to finish that list in!  Having a baby is a hectic time, as is bringing home the baby!

1.  Get most things done before the baby comes.  I thought I had all the time in the world to get things done for my oldest.  I was thinking "Oh yeah, I'll have 40 weeks.  She'll come late and everything will be ready!"  I was wrong.  She came 6 weeks early and I did not have all the time in the world.  Suddenly, my family was rushing around to get most of the tasks done and I was left worrying that things wouldn't get done in time to bring her home.  After all, I wanted my daughter to have the best of everything and to come into a great atmosphere.

2. Do you have a dog or a cat?  You want the animal to get used to the baby's scent before you bring him/her home.  Have your husband, boyfriend, significant other or any other family member bring a receiving blanket home that has been near the new baby in the hospital.  You are going to want to put that blanket near where your dog or cat sleeps and let them sniff that blanket and cuddle with that blanket.  They will pick up the baby's scent and know that the new addition also will be a new friend to your pet.  You don't want the dog or cat to potentially try to jump at the baby when he/she comes home.

3. Stock up on diapers and wipes!  I know this sounds funny and I know most people HATE when people give them diapers and wipes as additions to baby shower gifts.  Well, I'm here to tell you that you can NEVER have enough diapers or wipes.  Your newborn baby will probably go through close to two packs of diapers per week.  If you have coupons and find sales that are good, stock up!!  If you can't print anymore of the coupons because of the quota, ask family and friends to print it off for you.  You will need both the savings and the diapers and wipes.  Believe me.

4. Keep a bottle of Purel in the nursery.  I learned this while my daughter was in the NICU.  Keep hand sanitizer in your nursery.  Actually, keep one in your nursery, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, garage, car... Keep one everywhere.  Why?  Babies are prone to getting sick more than we are.  Their immune systems are just starting to further develop and we don't want them to get sick.  We want our babies to be comfortable and happy.  If anyone comes in the home to visit, have them sanitize their hands as well.  Don't let any unsanitized hands touch or go near your baby.  Hell, I even asked strangers to sanitize their hands before going near my baby... Even until she was a year and a half...

5. Take advantage of nap times.  This is going to be important until your baby is about 7 years old. (lol)  Make sure to nap when your baby naps!  You're going to want to take advantage of their nap times so you are able to get in some sleep too.  While you think you  may be super mom, you're not.  Take it from someone who did think that and got so physically exhausted that she actually got sick.  You need to take naps during the day for yourself, you're sanity and your significant other's sanity.

6. Wash the clothing before wearing.  You're going to want to wash your baby's clothes before you put them on him/her.  Wash in a mild detergent that is gentle to a baby's skin like Dreft.  Don't use anything harsh like Tide or any of the major known detergents.  There are plenty that are specially made for babies.

7.  White noise helps.  Often babies may get cranky or even colicky.  If this happens, white noise is great to sooth the baby.  White noise is anything that may be a humming sound.  (Any sound that is annoying to us!)  It may be a vacuum cleaner going, the sound of a static-y TV or even a heartbeat.  Heartbeat bears are available for purchase and they do work.  Babies are so used to the noisy atmosphere of being in the womb and coming out into the world is a different experience.  We often keep our baby's room quiet so they can sleep, but occasionally they need the familiarity of a more noisy environment.

8. Bottle warmers are great, but often you don't have the time to wait that long until the bottle is warmed.  As much as they say you should not use a microwave, it doesn't hurt.  It's important to put the bottle in the microwave at low intervals.  Microwave until the bottom of the bottle is tepid and the top of the bottle is just room temp.  Shake the bottle as much as you can until you feel the temperature be a little warmer than room temp.  ALWAYS test formula on your arm first.  You don't want to burn your baby.

9. Ask for some help.  We know that mothers and mother in laws can be annoying and invasive, but in the first few weeks they may be a Godsend.  We spoke earlier about not being super mom and not trying to be super mom.  You may need the help, don't be afraid to ask.  If you need someone to prepare meals while you're taking care of your baby, ask.  Chances are, they will be more than happy to assist.

10. Make sure your car seat is correct.  Most fire or police stations do car seat checks for new mom's or pregnant mom's.  It's important that your car seat is in correctly and firmly in place so your child is safe.  If you are ever unsure about the way you put it in yourself, it's best to get it looked at and installed properly.  Better to be safe than sorry.

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Health matters. To all of us. That's why we've started the Lysol® Mission for Health. With new mom programs, healthy habits initiatives in schools and disaster relief efforts, we are dedicated to doing more for health. Our mission is fueled by passion and backed by our expertise in killing germs. So when you use Lysol® at home, you'll know you're a part of something bigger.

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I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Nov 3, 2010

Brilliant Lenses Review & Giveaway!

I have been wearing glasses since I was 7 years old and I never ever remembered to clean my lenses until I was at school or out with friends and realized the smudges were terrible!  It would drive me absolutely nuts. (Especially being somewhat OCD!)   I really wish that I could say I remember more often now that I am older, but unfortunately I cannot.  Actually, with two kids, a full time job, a part time job and a freelancing position, I forget even more now-a-days!  

It's so hard to actually get your glasses clean enough to feel like you can see clearly, especially with just regular water!  Even wiping your glasses with paper towels gets fibers on the glass and wiping your glasses with a towel sometimes smudges them further.  I am the kind of person who (when I remember to clean them) has tried absolutely everything you can purchase at a store and nothing worked well enough for me!  The only thing I used to use that worked was a glass cleaner from LensCrafters....Unfortunately, they no longer make the type that I had used.  It's frustrating to not be able to look through your glasses and see like you did not have them on.

Brilliant Lenses is actually amazing.  When I received this I was not expecting it to work at all, nothing else had!  I felt like I would go through my life with glasses being smudge free one moment and back to square one the next.  I was completely wrong.

I am so very glad that I had the opportunity to try Brilliant Lenses because IT WORKS!  There is everything to love about this product and when I put it to the test I was amazed.  We tried the double pack and I have to say, it comes in this cute little white drawstring carrying case to throw in your purse.  It also comes with this great microfiber cleaning cloth and two little bottles of the great Brilliant Lenses cleaners.  The best part is that it is alcohol and ammonia free and their SR-8 adds scratch resistance to your lenses!  The invisible barrier that it adds to your lenses is just so great!  My kids constantly knock my glasses on the floor or I end up knocking them over and it really protects your lenses!

I love that this product multi-tasks!  It also cleans monitors, MP3 players, phone screens, etc...  When I read that on the packaging, I had to try it!  My iPhone screen is ALWAYS dirty because my kids play games on it.  I am embarrassed to say that I had A LOT of fingerprints on the screen and didn't clean it often. (I wasn't sure how to do it safely!)  When I sprayed a light mist of Brilliant Lenses on the screen and wiped it off with the microfiber cloth, I was amazed.  I now keep one of these little bottles (along with the carrying case and cloth!) In my purse and one on my desk.  I love being able to easily clean my glasses and phone screens on the go and so easily!  This product gets an A+ in my book!


Brilliant Lenses was kind enough to offer one of the double packs to one of my readers.  Even if you do not have glasses, this is a great product.  You can safely clean your phone screens, computer monitor screens, etc...  Let me tell you, this product works! (And I'm very picky when it comes to things I use on my most beloved possessions!)

Mandatory Entry:

Comment below telling us what you would use Brilliant Lenses for and why.  Would you use it on your phone that always has fingerprints?  Your glasses that YOU may forget to often clean?  Would you use it on both?

Optional Entries:

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Remember to leave a comment for each entry you do!  That is how we count the optional entries. :)

[Product review & giveaway disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."]

Nov 2, 2010

GREAT PROMO! Discover Your Inner Elf, we are!

Elf The Musical on Broadway has this great offer going on right now.  BUY TWO ADULT TICKETS GET TWO ADULT TICKETS FOR FREE!  This offer is so amazing that my kids, my mom and I are going to the opening show tonight!  You can take advantage of this great offer right here!  This is only for shows through November 13th, so hurry up and take advantage of this great offer!

My daughter is absolutely obsessed with this movie and Buddy the Elf.  When I saw this was coming to Broadway, I knew that I had to try to get her tickets.  I wanted to surprise her!  I was going to wait a little closer to Christmas when the NYC Christmas lights were up and the tree was in Rockefeller Center... But this deal made me want to buy tickets ASAP.  I've been to opening nights before and they're always so exciting.  The energy is always so high around the theater and I decided that my kids should be able to have this experience as well!  We're very excited about going tonight and Alayna can't wait to leave.  She has been talking about this since we got the tickets yesterday!  We can always go see the tree and the lights closer to Christmas! (God knows, we live close enough! lol

I will definitely post a review later on tonight or tomorrow and of course, pictures from our little trip!! It's exciting for my kids and exciting for me that I get to share this with my girls. 


New Style :)

So, we have a new style.  I wanted to change what we had because it was getting old.  That theme was almost a year old!!  I decided to change it in honor of the new site that I am hoping to finish by November.  This basic theme may stay a part of the site or may just completely get revamped, I am unsure as of yet. :)

Oct 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Happy Halloween!! Just got back from taking the girls Trick Or Treating and now I'm heading out with some friends. :)  I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!  

Update on the new site: It's coming along great!!  I am hoping that by Thanksgiving it will completely be ready to open! :)

Oct 28, 2010

Should you really compare the obese to drug addicts?

I may not be obese nor am I morbidly overweight, but there was a time where I would have fit in those categories.  I have many friends and family members who do fit into these categories and because I once was classified as obese, I can relate to the insensitivity of some people.  I was one of the chubby kids that would always be made fun of and I would be called terrible names.  Honestly, I thought the "bullies" would grow out of their phase of disliking people for their image or hair color.  I guess I was wrong.

Through another blog, my attention was brought to this article written by Maura Kelly entitled "Should Fatties Get A Room?"  (It disgusts me to even link this article.)  This article made me actually made me nauseous and completely disgusted me to see a grown adult act so childish and immature.  She reminded me of one of those bullies that called me degrading names and made my confidence plummet to low levels.  Basically, she said that obese people on TV made her sick and so did "obese people walking across a room."  Really?  

Seeing overweight people as actors/actresses on television, in my opinion, is something that should have been done years ago.  So maybe being obese isn't healthy, but some people have conditions where they can't help it.  They don't just sit there everyday all day and eat.  Why shouldn't bigger women be able to act on television too?  In Rosanne her and her husband were overweight and there was NO controversy like there is now over the more recent shows.

What got me, was this: "To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair."  That is more or less comparing their view of someone with obesity to that of a druggie or alcoholic.

The author did write an apology, but the hurtful things she said still resonate with those who relate to the subject of the bullying.  Once a bully, always a bully...

Oct 26, 2010

I've been neglecting all of you!!

I most recently started as a Customer Service Rep and Personal Shopper for and haven't had the chance to get on here.  I have been working about 60 hours a week and completely neglecting this blog.  I have, however, been planning on ways to make this blog bigger and better and that's what is going to happen by November!  I'm planning on this site to be more than just a personal site but a point of reference for anyone who wants to know anything about parenting, crafting, cooking, etc...  We're going to get a complete revamp with a new name and style. :)  I'm really looking forward to this change and have great visions for this site!  A big thank you to everyone who e-mailed asking if I was ok and those who stayed loyal to us!  You'll have some great surprises coming while we get closer to Christmas!  

I apologize for neglecting all of you and promise for great things to come!

Oct 12, 2010

Popular Mommy Bloggers: What makes them different?

I love reading other blogs and Heather was one of the first blogs that actually inspired me to write more about my kids, my life and to become a mommy blogger.   However, I think about some of these other mommy bloggers that are considered among the most popular of the "mommy bloggerdom" (Yes, I made up a new word.  It's cool dammit!!) and I wonder just why they're so popular.  Don't get me wrong, I love some of these very popular mommy bloggers, I love to read their blogs and follow them daily, but what makes them any different than the rest of us?  They have good designs, but so do a lot of other blogs, some of the little known ones.  Sure they write well, but other blogs do as well.  Some of these very popular blogs haven't been around for too long -- how do they skyrocket to bloggy fame?  

If I said I didn't want to be amongst them, I'd be lying.  Just like in any hobby or occupation, you want to be one of the top.  Of course, being popular isn't what blogging is all about.  
I write because I love to.

I write because I have the inspiration and love the outlet.

I write because I love to share things with others. 
If no one followed my blog, I probably would still write because it's like therapy for me, but of course you want people to read and acknowledge your hard work.  Most bloggers spend a good amount of their free time (and kids naptimes!) working on their blogs, writing posts and doing what they love. In my experience, blogs can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours to write well.  (And that is with much proofreading and revisions too!!)  I'm probably just rambling on and on, but I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

No way am I even near the ranks of those popular mom bloggers, but I was thinking about and trying to analyze just why they were so popular.  I found a post somewhere on the internet with the ranking of the top mommy bloggers and went through the sites trying to compare and contrast.  Of course, I did see some vast differences from smaller known blogs, but nothing that they couldn't improve on.  Basically, these are the things I have found:

Regular Blog Posts - You don't have to blog daily, but blogging 2-3 times a week to keep your readers interested and engaged is a very important thing.  It's important if you're one of the more popular bloggers or just a little blog starting up.  You want to have something to grip your readers and pull them in.  Posting about your day, your newest recipe and pictures of your totally adorable food covered child is good in moderation, but you also have to have posts to make people think or to start a conversation.  Investing time into your writing whether it's during naptime or well into the night is important.  Not all the time, but whenever you have the inspiration.

I have a notebook near my bed and a small notebook in my purse.  (I also use my phone's memo pad sometimes) When I have inspiration, I write down a topic in those notebooks.  Sometimes, in the notebook near my bed, I'll just write out an entire post.  This happens a lot if I wake up in the middle of the night and just think of something. (And I'm too lazy to actually get up and write it on my computer.)  There are days I just sit down and write saved drafts of all the posts I write in my notebook.  It makes it so much easier for me to just schedule a post when I have a block.  Though, I've been writing for many years and I really have bursts of inspiration at the most random moments.  I would suggest this to anyone who may be the same way. 

Networking - I'm not going to say spam other blogs with comments such as "follow meeeeeee!!!!" ha!  That's just wrong and it won't get ANY blogger to like you. :)  They may actually 'blacklist' you if you do that. ;)  I'm saying that if you read other blogs and like a post, comment and tell them how ingenious it was, or share your thoughts on the blog, share your opinions.  Bloggers put themselves out there and almost always love to hear your constructive criticism or opinions on what they're writing.  Feedback is good.  Who knows, that blogger may actually like to visit blogs that comment on theirs and they may like yours as well.  From there maybe they would share a post, tweet a post, facebook a post or add you to their blogroll.  From there it's like a domino effect.  I always love to visit blogs on another blog I like.  I'm one who checks their blogroll to see if I can find new and great blogs to read.  Networking is a huge part as well.  

I know there are people who think that PR and "giveaways" is a way to gain popularity and I guess in a way it can be... but I don't think that's anything to really focus on.  For myself, I do giveaways and reviews because if a company contacts me and I like what they have to offer, I take them up on it.  I find it as an honor to review and promote their products or services.  Of course giveaways do gain attention through word of mouth, but in order to KEEP those readers, you have to have something of substance on your blog.

Honestly, I think this is just the beginning for the Mommy Blogger world.  There are so many more companies and media outlets that are just getting wind of this.  There are companies and media outlets that are realizing just how effective mommy blogging is and how good of a promotional tool it is as well.  As I may be contradicting myself now, I feel that there will be a huge climax for mommy blogging and a lot more attention in the future.  Of course, it's really luck and being in the right place at the right time to even get noticed by any of these outlets, but who knows.  Maybe one of the underdogs will get recognition!  

Remember -- While there are bloggers who make a living off their blogs (few and far between!!) most bloggers do it because they love to.  I write because I love to.  It's a hobby, not a career.  Who knows what the future will hold, but for right now we have to keep on doing what we love.  Keep on writing, Keep on networking and keep on promoting ourselves. 

Oct 10, 2010

"Mommy, why was your childhood so boring?"

I remember being a child and having to use my imagination to play with Barbies, my doll house, Polly Pockets, dolls and other various toys.  Back in the 1980's, electronic toys were few and far between.  When I had a toy that was electronic, it wasn't very advanced; they were just being developed and were very plain.  I would get out of the house daily and for a long time.  I got exercise by playing with my friends, by going to the park, riding my bike, my scooter, my roller skates/ roller blades and using my imagination to play different games with my friends.  

Fast forward to more modern days where preschoolers learn computers as part of their curriculum in school!  By kindergarten, children are computer savvy.  Hell, some kindergartners even have their own computers.  I see 8 year olds with their own cell phones, texting and even with their own e-mail accounts.  I'm not saying that knowing the computer when you're young is a bad thing, but I know many parents who have young children and don't monitor what they're doing online.  I know many parents who tell me they trust their children and don't feel like they have to monitor what they're doing.  It's not the fact of distrusting your children, but the fact of distrusting others and knowing the dangers that are out there in cyberworld.

I understand the need for technology, however I also worry.  Kids aren't getting the exercise they need because of technology.  Sure, we have the Wii and I love Nintendo for coming up with such a great concept; a gaming system that conbines family time, exercise and fun.  Even so, children need fresh air and more physical movement.  I also believe they should go outside and enjoy their time because it's better than being stuck in the house.  Even voluntarily stuck.

It really dawned on me when I had brought some of my old toys up from the basement for my girls to play with.  My oldest, Alayna, asked me how did I play with the toys when it wasn't electronic.  I had told her that when I was younger electronic toys were just being created and she really thought my childhood was boring!  I had to explain to her that when I was a kid it was 1980 and most of our fun was created by ourselves.  We had to use our imagination to make the dolls talk and to come up with scenarios.   She didn't really understand why there was no electronics, but I realized that our kids now are brought up with Nintendo, Playstation, XBox, computers, toys that talk and walk and poop and pee...

My kids have great imaginations because that's how I raised them, but I think there are some parents who depend on the toys that do the work for them.  In fact, I know some of those parents.  More children should be limited to the technology toys and should spend more time with the toys that stretch the imagination and build the creativity.  Not even that, but kids should be able to get out of the house and exercise, play games outside, going to the park.  They need the fresh air.

Sometimes I see 4 and 5 year olds playing outside all by themselves.  While it's good that they're outside and getting the exercise, where are their parents?  I hear some parents talking about how they can't wait to get their little kids outside because they want the time to themselves. These are the parents who will act like the big and mighty protective parents when something bad happens, God forbid.  Honestly, I don't mean to criticise any parents, but when I see this and hear parents talking about this, I do go off.  And I have gone off on parents who have said they let their 4 and 5 year olds outside alone in a busy urban area.  It angers me.

What do you think about this topic?  What do you think about the parents who distract their children with video games and electronic toys so they can do what they'd like to do?

Oct 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Princess.

Five years ago my little princess was born, Alayna Danielle.  She was born prematurely at almost 35 weeks and had digestion problems and her sucking instinct was not developed at that time.  My little baby had reflux and was in the hospital for a month after she was born.  She had gone through so many test, she was misdiagnosed a few times and had to be finally fed through a gastro tube because she couldn't hold down formula from a bottle and in the beginning, she couldn't even suck on the bottle. That was the worst month of my entire life because my little girl wasn't home with me.

She finally came home a month later and was the best little baby that anyone could ever ask for.  Since then, she's grown so much and has become the smartest and best little girl that anyone could ever ask for. (When she behaves! lol)  I can't believe she's already 5 years old.  She started pre school this past September and loves her friends. 

That's Alayna's 1st birthday picture

And here she is at age 5... Such a big girl who's grown so much.

I really got emotional this morning when I realized my little baby was already 5 years old! It's so hard to believe.  She's gonna have a great birthday party on Friday with her friends from school!

Happy Birthday, Alayna Danielle!!