Friday, May 29, 2009

You've GOT To Be Kidding Me: The Wearable Towel

It's a summertime Snuggie!

Because wrapping a towel around yourself is ....SO difficult, the Wearable Towel was invented. Watch the infomercial here - it's hilarious:

I must admit - I own two Snuggies. I got them for Diva and Daredevil for Valentines' Day because (1) they begged for them, and (2) they were healthier than a bunch of candy. Daredevil likes to wear his with his light saber and pretend he's Obi-Wan Kenobi, see below

But the Wearable Towel kind of reminds me of a sleeveless hospital gown made out of towel material. I can just see Hunter, like the guy in the video, donning this to go out and get the newspaper, NOT! We could have used these back in our toga party days!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm Assuming This Mom Was Overwhelmed..(?)

I was horrified this week when I first saw this story on my local news . . . 38 year old Bonnie Sweeten, of Feasterville, Pennsylvania, called 911 to report that when she stopped after she was rear-ended, she and her 8 year old daughter Julia were kidnapped and being held in the trunk of a car. They were then pronounced missing and massive hunt began. I saw the AMBER ALERT at the bottom of my TV screen. Her SUV was found 25 miles away that evening, with no sign of Bonnie or Julia. Yesterday, her ex-husband (who she was reportedly on good terms with) pleaded for their safe release on the Today show.

I thought: what is this world coming to? You can't even stop after a traffic accident, for fear of being kidnapped?

Several inconsistencies arose with the her multiple 911 calls, cell phone tower pings vs. the location where she stated the accident happened, the time stamp of a parking ticket found on her car, et. cetera, but the police and FBI refused to speak further, saying they were focused on finding them safe and sound.

Well, they were found safe and sound. AT DISNEY WORLD. Instead of being kidnapped, Bonnie concocted that bizarre story, withdrew $12,000 in cash, and booked plane tickets under false names and flew to Orlando, checking into the Grand Floridian resort at Disney World.

As a reward for her mysterious trip, she is in custody and is being charged with identity theft (for using a co-worker's ID to book plane tickets) and making false police reports. Today she faces an extradition hearing, where she will likely be returned to Pennsylvania. The little girl's father (Bonnie's ex) is flying to Florida this morning to be reunited with his daughter.

The question is - why did she do it? She was a married mother of 3 (in addition to Julia, she had two other daughters: an 8 month old and a 15 year old). Friends who spoke to TV reporters said she was on good terms with her ex husband, who lived nearby. (They divorced in 2003). Her ex-husband said she was a great mother who was very involved with her kids' schools and activities. Her current husband spoke on TV this morning and seemed clueless as to her motives. He wanted her to know that he and the rest of her family will support her.

I have to admit, I've had fleeting thoughts of impusively taking off - just jumping in the car and driving away. These thoughts float into my head when the baby screams and won't stop, or on nights where I've gotten very little sleep. Of course I would never act on it . . I view these thoughts as a kind of fantasy, like winning the lottery. I think....what if I just went somewhere for a few days by myself? Of course I'd come back....but sometimes a break just sounds so wonderful.

It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds. Whatever the outcome, I'm relieved this mom and her little girl were not harmed. What a weird story!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Take on Jon & Kate

For some reason, I’m compelled to state my opinion on this whole Jon and Kate Gosselin situation that’s been dominating the tabloids lately.

For those who may not be familiar, Jon and Kate Gosselin and their 8 children (a set of twins and sextuplets) chronicle their life on a TLC reality show, Jon&Kate Plus 8. This show has been going on for some time and is immensely popular. I enjoy watching it because it makes me feel a little less overwhelmed since I only have 3 kids instead of 8.

Lately, the Gosselin’s activities outside the show have garnered them less than positive media attention.

Apparently Jon, age 32, who got married at 22, has been quoted as saying since he married so young and immediately had kids, he never got to hang out, party, and hook up as the young 'uns typically do. Apparently he is taking care of that now - from photographs and witnesses he is carrying on with a 23 year old.

Kate has been quoted as saying there is definitely trouble in the marriage, and while she views her marriage as important, she’s not sure where it is going right now. She said she wants to focus on her kids and providing for them. And she is doing so, by writing and promoting their second book, filming the show, and doing lucrative speaking engagements, which frequently involve travel. Jon admittedly does not like the public appearances and speaking, so she’s doing these activities on her own.

What angers me a little is now the tabloids are focused on painting Kate as a monster. Like it's all her fault her husband is straying. Jon seems to be getting a free pass.

Here is why they think she is so terrible:

  • She went tanning on the sextuplets’ birthday So what – it was also Mothers’ Day – a girl can’t take an hour or so for herself?

  • She traveled 21 days out of the last 30, and cares more about fame and making money than her kids... It’s called a book tour, probably scheduled long ago by her publisher, to promote a book that will likely help pay for college for 8 kids. Jon doesn’t work, and their show won’t last forever, so someone needs to make some coin. I’m sure it wasn’t fun for her to try to promote a book about their family when every magazine showed her husband out at bars with a 23 year old, and showed said 23 year old in a bikini in Kate’s own front yard. How embarrassing. Further, if Jon were the one doing the traveling, I doubt the magazines would be adding up how much time HE is away from the kids. Such a double standard.

  • She is having an affair with her married bodyguard So far all they can come up with on this one are some unproven suspicions and some photographs of them together in the airport – um, traveling with her is his job. Kate has said his wife is often with them too, but of course she doesn’t get photographed.

  • She fired 40 nurses when the sextuplets were babies …OK, that seems a little extreme – but we don’t know WHY they were fired. Perhaps she fired a service that provided the nurses. She is a former nurse herself, so I imagine she has high standards.

  • She berated a nurse once for washing her hands in the kitchen instead of the bathroom, stating it was cross-contamination. Those who watch the show know Kate is a germophobe – like a lot of people. She had 6 premature infants in her home – she might have had a valid concern there in trying to keep the kitchen sterile, as the babies’ bottles were likely made there.

  • She treats Jon badly. Those who watch the show have seen her snap on Jon. She does seem like a bit of a control freak, but he usually (on the show at least) seems good natured about her neurotic-ness. It doesn’t give him a free pass to carry on with 20 year olds.

  • She’s estranged from her family and rejected cribs donated by her pastor father’s parishioners because they didn't match. No one knows why she is estranged from her family, it’s been reported that they don’t agree with their decision to put the family on TV. Are they paying the bills? As for the cribs, so what if she didn’t accept donations. Maybe she wanted to buy them herself. There are a lot of hazards with donated baby stuff, with recalls, missing pieces, and such.

Can you see where I’m going with this? I’m on Team Kate. She is by no means perfect (who is??) but I don’t think she deserves the blindsiding negative media she's getting. Jon seems like he's a good father, but in the husband department he appears to be a whiny little boy who needs to grow up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tired and Overwhelmed

Tired - becuase I stayed up to watch the finale of "24" last night on the DVR. I'm a little bleary eyed today, but it was excellent. I love me some Jack Bauer!

Overwhelmed - because spring sports and activities are NUTS right now. We are just trying to survive the next couple of weeks: We have, between this week and next:
  • Karate
  • Swimming lessons
  • Softball practices and games
  • T-ball games
  • Mandatory T-ball concession stand duty
  • Dance class
  • Dance recital rehearsals (regular and dress rehearsal), then recital
  • "Ocean Animals" kindergarten project
  • Girls on the Run 5k race (Diva and I are running!)
  • Kindergarten poetry party
  • Kindergarten end of year party
  • Kindergarten field trip to aquarium
  • School field day
  • School Lip-sync competition
  • #3 doctor appointment for third ear infection re-check in 6 weeks
  • Summer camp paperwork and physicals due

So I'll do my best to keep up with posting, but I apologize in advance for slowing down. Keep visiting, I'll be back as soon as I can!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Totally LOST

(WARNING: If you are LOST fan and haven't seen last night's finale, be warned that I discuss it below and may reveal spoilers - go watch it right now if you haven't seen it - you will not be disappointed!)

Oh my gosh, the LOST finale was amazing. I am going to watch it again tonight!

I'm bummed that we have to wait until JANUARY 2010 for the next season - which will also be the last. I've been captivated by this incredible show since the very first episode.

So my thoughts on the finale last night are:
  • So who the heck is the new Locke? Looks like he is not a good guy. Theory: Is new Locke really the smoke monster that can take the form of dead people? (i.e. Jack's dad Christian Shepherd, Ben's daughter Alex, and maybe the people Hurley sees - Charlie, etc.)
  • I'm assuming Juliet is now dead. But what about everyone else? I guess they survive....and now we see how Dr. Chang's arm was severed. (Remember in the Dharma videos, he only has one arm...)
  • I'm guessing the bomb going off is "the incident" referred to in earlier seasons that precipitated the pushing of the button in the hatch every 108 minutes?
  • Did Jacob save Sayid's life with that well timed distraction, or did he just distract Sayid so his operatives could knock off Nadia? Jacob had to know that Sayid would never return to the Island as long as he was with Nadia.
  • And Jacob . . . how creepy was it that he appeared in all our castaway's lives pre-crash? Even their childhoods? Like he was engineering their lives the entire time. Freaky.
  • The green eye at the end.....who is it? My co-worker has a theory that it's Claire.

All in all, the finale was a fantastic end to a crazy, amazing season. By far my favorite show!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WFMW: Guilt-free yummy treat!

This is a quick and easy one. I am on a big-time diet in anticipation of my early June vacation, so I have been looking for guilt-free treats. Discovered this quite by accident and it SO works for me...

Pudding that tastes LIKE CAKE BATTER!
  • 1 box fat-free, sugar-free Cheesecake instant pudding mix
  • 1 box fat-free, sugar-free Butterscotch instant pudding mix
  • nonfat milk
Mix together according to package directions, and chill in fridge for 5 minutes. Makes enough to last a few days - grab a spoon and dig in when the sweet tooth hits, with no guilt!

If your diet allows, toss a few chocolate chips on top - YUM!

See more tips at
We Are That Family.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Progress: More Moms in Congress

Read an article today on CNN about how there is increasingly more moms with young children in Congress.

Most people know Nancy Pelosi (D-California), the first female Speaker of the House, is both a mother and grandmother, but the new trend is serving in Congress while having/raising small children. The article mentions, besides Speaker Pelosi, the following mom/lawmakers:

These mom lawmakers struggle with many of the same issues as many working moms have. Sen. Gillibrand mentions that her 11 month old son Henry is on the waiting list for the Congressional day care center, and Rep. Herseth Sandlin, nursing a 5 month old, says sometimes she needs to get creative about pumping (sometimes between votes in the Ladies' Reading Room at the Capitol).

While both Gillibrand and Herseth Sandlin admit that work-life balance may be a bit easier for them than the average working mom (they are the bosses, they rely on a lot of family support, and, to an extent, have some flexibility in planning meetings and travel to their home states), they think Congress, and the public, will benefit from their and their female colleagues' service.

"Our approach to policies that were important to us before become even more important, whether it's early childhood development and how you fund it, child-care, quality child-care, child nutrition, prenatal care," said Herseth Sandlin.

The article asserts that there has been an effort by both parties over the past several years to recruit younger women.

"To have new moms in the House is really a dream come true," said Pelosi during a recent news conference. It's a real message to working moms and young moms across America that someone who shares their experience and their aspirations for their children is a voice for them in the Congress."

Hopefully these women will set an example for our daughters - that you CAN have a stake in shaping our country while raising a family. Read the full article here.

If any of these Congress moms are from your state, be sure to visit their web sites and send them e-mails with your ideas and thoughts on working and raising a family. If you know of any other moms in Congress, comment with their names, and I'll post an update with a link to their site(s).

Saturday, May 9, 2009


In honor of Mother's Day......

You Know You’re a Mom When…
    1. You count the sprinkles on each kid’s cupcake to make sure they’re equal.

    2. You find yourself cutting your husbands’ sandwiches into cute shapes.

    3. You can’t bear to give away baby clothes – it’s so final.

    4. You hear your mother’s voice coming out of your mouth when you say, “NOT in your good clothes!”

    5. You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.

    6. You hire a sitter because you haven’t been out with your husband in ages, then spend half the night checking on the kids.

    7. You have time to shave only one leg at a time.

    8. You hide in the bathroom to be alone.

    9. Your kid throws up and you catch it.

    10. Someone else’s kid throws up at a party. You keep eating.

    11. You use your own saliva to clean your child’s face.

    12. You’ve mastered the art of placing large quantities of pancakes and eggs on a plate without anything touching.

    13. Your child insists that you read “Once Upon a Potty” out loud in the lobby of Grand Central Station and you do it.

    14. You cling to the high moral ground on toy weapons; your child chews his toast into the shape of a gun.

    15. You hope ketchup is a vegetable, since it’s the only one your child eats.

    16. You donate to charities in the hope that your child won’t get that disease.

    17. Your feet stick to the kitchen floor, and you don’t care.

    18. The closest you get to gourmet cooking is making Rice Krispie treats.

    19. You no longer object to cold pizza for breakfast.

    20. Your purse is crammed with emergency toys, candy and first aid supplies.

    21. You can talk on the phone, pack a lunch & breast feed all once.

    22. You wonder why it was you ever feared being alone.

    23 You spend an entire week wearing sweats.

    24. You can remove chewing gum from just about anything.

    25. You say at least once a day, “I’m not cut out for this job”, but you know you wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WFMW: Cheap & Green Household Cleaners (from stuff you probably already have!)

This week's Works-For-Me-Wednesday has a money-saving theme. See more financially conscious tips at We Are That Family.

My tip is not only frugal, but green. Below is a list of non-toxic cleaning solutions made from stuff you likely already have around the house. For those only mildly or not at all frugal and/or environmentally conscious, don't stop reading here.

The list would come in handy when you want something cleaned RIGHT NOW and are fresh out of whatever you would normally use, the story of my life!

Cleaning Solutions:

Furniture polish: three parts olive oil, one part white vinegar

To clean mineral-scale buildup in humidifiers – use distilled white vinegar

Soap scum removal: Apply baking soda (it is non abrasive). Scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. (Whatever you do, don’t try “Pam” spray for soap scum. I read that somewhere once and tried it, it didn’t work and made my shower greasy & gross!)

Granite & Marble Cleaner: 2 cups water, 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 tsp pure castile soap (peppermint, etc.), 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide, 20 drops tea tree oil, 20 drops lavender or lemongrass essential oil. Mix all ingredients in a 32-ounce plastic spray bottle. Cleaner can be used to clean surfaces of acrylic, ceramic tile, wood, marble and granite

Carpet stains: Use cornstarch or club soda

Carpet deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda around the room. Optional: add some dried crushed lavender or basil. Wait about 1/2 hour, then vacuum

Grease stains: use cornstarch

De-yellow silk or wool: Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar in 1 pint of water. Sponge with this solution and rinse. Wash as usual

Silver polish: Rub silver with plain old toothpaste and rinse with water

To prevent odors/mold in garbage cans: sprinkle 1/2 cup Borax in the bottom of the garbage can

For Scratches: Mix equal pans of lemon juice and salad oil. Rub into scratches with a soft cloth until scratches disappear

Remove streaks from stainless steel sinks: Rub with olive oil

Remove metal rust: Mix 2 tablespoons salt with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Apply and rub well

Bathroom mold: Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower

Marks on walls and painted surfaces: Many ink spots, pencil, crayon or marker spots can be cleaned from painted surfaces using baking soda applied to a damp sponge. Rub gently, then wipe and rinse

Stickers on walls: I find Spiderman, etc. stickers all over my house. Everywhere. To remove, sponge vinegar over them several times, and wait 15 minutes, then rub off the stickers. This also works for price tags (stickers) on tools, etc

Water Rings on Wood: Water rings on a wooden table or counter are typically the result of moisture that is trapped under the topcoat, but not the finish. Try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise to a damp cloth and rub into the ring. Once the ring is removed, buff the entire wood surface

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jenny McCarthy: Oprah's next prodigy

I read today that Jenny McCarthy will soon start her own talk show, backed by none other than the all-powerful Oprah Winfrey.

I'm a big Jenny fan. I read her book, Louder than Words, and was moved by her story of the challenges she's faced along with her son Evan, who has autism. I also hope to read some of her other books.

I hear she's already a frequent guest on the Oprah show. (I love the Oprah show but rarely watch - it's on while I'm working and I'm already behind in my DVRing, what with 24, Lost, The Office, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, and Brothers and Sisters.)

Now she's continuing her inroads with Oprah by blogging on Oprah's web site. Right now her posts center on giving up sugar and late night snacks for the next 30 days.

Ok, now I'm thinking about that for a bit. No. Sugar. At. All.

I eat way too much sugar, and it shows. I drink regular soda because I love it (esp. fountain sodas!) I love sweet stuff - cookies, candy, ice cream - you name it). I try to stay away but it calls my name.

Jenny started this campaign May 1. Apparently she read a book called Sugar Blues that educates you on the detriments of sugar. She said she knew is was bad, but did not know HOW bad until she read the book. This has piqued my interest.

I'm going on vacation next month, so it's crunch time (literally). I am in no way ready to be in a bathing suit. I've been exercising alot, but it doesn't help when you still EAT CRAP ALL THE TIME and drink Coca-Cola non stop. So maybe I should try this sugar ban along with Jenny. If she can do it, so can I.

I'll keep an eye out for her talk show and add it to my DVR. If she follows in the footsteps of other Oprah prodigies (Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil), I 'm sure it will be a huge success!