Moms The Word

May 23, 2007

Stay Informed! *Works for Me Wednesdays*

Filed under: Politics, WFMW — mrslady @ 10:59 am

With the 2008 elections looming, and the debates already in full swing, it’s easy to get caught up in the limelight of the presidential election. However, even with the “big one” coming up, it’s important to remember that business as usual is still happening in Congress. They are voting on a lot of important issues at the moment [immigration comes to mind], but it’s easy to get bogged down in the search for information-especially when it comes to politics.

Here are a couple suggestions I have to keep yourself ahead of what’s happening in Washington:

*Know where to go. You can visit the House of Representatives at their website http://www.house.gov and the senate at http://www.senate.gov. On their respective pages you can find their session schedule, and current legislation schedules for the week. These pages are informative, but they can get a little hard to navigate so beware!

*Get more information. I recommend a more friendly place, http://www.congress.org, for finding information you can use. On this site you can not only sign up to have the voting record of your Congresspersons emailed to you. You can also search current bills, or recent bills, and get an easy to read detail of who voted for, who voted against, and who didn’t vote at all when it comes to that bill.

*Get involved! On http://www.congress.org you can write your congressman-or the president if you’re ambitious!-and let them get a little more “in touch” with the people. There are also links on that site to join groups supporting or against almost everything. If none of those float your boat, you can find a group or chatroom on almost anything using Google.

In my opinion, the key to a well-run country starts with the dilligence of it’s individual citizens. By staying informed and getting involved we let our leaders know that we not only are we watching, but that we care. Remember, it’s not just the presidential race that determines the future of our nation, but the sometimes mundane ins and outs of Congress that effect our lives on a daily basis.

Staying informed works for me! For more WFMW go to http://www.rocksinmydryer.typepad.com.

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May 22, 2007

Adventures in Pottyland *To Do About Tuesday*

Filed under: Good Ideas, To-Do about Tuesday — mrslady @ 1:41 pm

As of yet in my parenting experience, I consider myself to be successful.  My three year old son is extremely polite, a great learner and a generally happy and well behaved child.  Yes, I was definately giving myself and my husband a pat on the collective back for some excellent childrearing-in-progress.

But wait! Not so fast mommy!  What about potty training?

Never in my life have I been more frustrated with anyone or anything.  Someone once told me that potty training is like being pecked to death by a duck-slow and painful.  I am finding this to be a remarkably accurate account of the potty training experience, and I definately will admit that while I was pregnant and dreaming of my cute little cuddle bug it never crossed my mind that I would be cleaning his poo off of his carpet, walls, and hair [ew!] for several months of his life.

Alas, there I am.  I have been up to my eyeballs in bodily functions for longer than I care to think of, and nothing is more frustrating than your child soiling his way through EVERY PAIR OF PANTS HE OWNS in only one single day.  For those of you not potty training yet, that translates to roughly three loads of laundry, four baths [including tub cleaning], two “wipe downs”, three sheet/blanket/pillow (yes pillow!) changes, six carpet spot-cleanings, two toddler potty dumpings/cleanings, and five billion “Do you have to go potty?”s per day for an indeterminable amount of time.  It’s enough to make even the most patient and loving mommy think for one second that they should sell their child to the zoo-at least then he could poo wherever he’d like!

Fortunately, it does not go on forever-and you can remind yourself that someday the one who pees on your carpet will have smelly carpets of their own children’s making. Eventually [they tell me] children become successfully potty trained.  Rumor has it someday they will even wipe their own behinds.  In the mean time, what is a mommy (or daddy) to do?

*Ask around.  Everyone with children has had to potty train them at some point.  I recommend not only talking to people with adult children [your parents might have good tips!], but also people who are in the potty training trenches along with you.  Older parents might not remember what worked for them while potty training, unlike someone who is currently or has recently arm-wrestled their child into going on the potty.  You don’t have to use every suggestion, but when you’re at the end of your wits it’s nice to have some options that you don’t have to think of yourself.

*Talk to the Experts.  Talk to your pediatrician about what methods they recommend, or even what worked for their own children.  Pediatricians have hundreds of clients, so they are almost guaranteed to have good [medically sound] tips.

*Read up! Luckily for moms and dads who do not want to take their potty training toddler into public, you don’t have to go to the bookstore anymore if you don’t want to-online advice is just one Google away.  I like Dr.Green’s advice, and the advice on babycenter.com because they best align with my “no pressure” form of potty training.

*Vent.  Not to or on your child, but it’s definately worth talking about your frustrations.  Talk to your significant other (they’re in the same boat as you!), or to your friends and family.  While they may not like hearing about your child’s poo, they love and support you so they will fake it.  If your relatives get tired of all the potty talk, you can join online groups, like the ones on Myspace or Cafe Mom, which are not only a great place to vent, but can be an excellent place to pick up some more tips!

*Stay positive!  This is beneficial for not only your sanity, but also for your child.  If you stay upbeat and focused on the end goal [not having to clean poo off your refridgerator anymore], it will help you be more relaxed, which helps your child relax, which definately helps the whole potty training process.  Some tips I found about staying positive:

                             *Don’t listen to the Debbie Downers or the Competative Suzies.  So what if your nieghbor’s daughter was potty trained at birth? Your child will do it in their own time.

                             *Reward yourself (and your child) for successful pottying.  I personally don’t believe in candy as a reward, but use whatever works for your family.  We use stickers and/or later nap times as incentive for our son and will sometimes rent a movie or something for ourselves after a day of success.

                             *Take breaks.  Give yourself a couple minutes of down time to read an article (or a blog!) or paint your nails.  If your child potties in their pants in that five minutes, they were probably going to do it anyway. [Unless they tell you they need to go potty, in which case you jump out like a firefighter and rush them to the bathroom (as I’m sure you already do).]

Good luck, and whatever you do remember-someday this child will have to potty train their own child.  That’s a pleasant thought.

May 19, 2007

The Black Hole

Filed under: Blog Business — mrslady @ 5:17 pm

That’s my only explaination for where I’ve been.  I know that I have been gone a rediculously long time, but you’re going to have to trust that I have been extra-super busy because sadly nothing I’ve been doing is even remotely interesting enough to put into blog unlike last time I took an extended absence.  All boring stuff, all extremely time consuming….that’s about it.

I’m back now though, at least for a while.  It is my personal goal to make a To Do about Tuesday, WFMW, and a Frugal Friday post this week-here’s hoping!  You may have noticed that I have done away with everything except the main blog and the about me section-but you probably didn’t.  Don’t worry.  No one (including myself) has been posting there, so I just figured I’d clean out the clutter a little bit.  If you have any longings to see either of them back again just let me know.  I’m not against their return, I’m just trying to do some more spring cleaning around here.

Anywho, that’s the blog business for now.  I’ll try to be back later today or tomarrow to post a little something, but if not I will see you all on [To Do about] Tuesday!

April 25, 2007

*WFMW* Mother’s Day

Filed under: Family, WFMW — mrslady @ 1:29 pm

Usually Mother’s Day is greeted by my husband happening into a store on or around the holiday to get milk and happening to see a sign that says “Celebrate Mothers”, then coming home to ask me if that was today.  For the past four years he gives me a kiss and says that I’m a great mommy, and I get a Mother’s Day nap in the middle of the day.  That’s enough for me-I really love naps, and honestly I think that a good long nap is the best present a mother could have, especially for a greeting card holiday.

However, I was thinking about it today and it occurs to me that some people actually celebrate Mother’s Day.  Like they do stuff and everything, and that to some people Mother’s Day is right up there with their anniversary and their birthday,  just under Christmas.  We never really celebrated Mother’s Day/Father’s Day when I was a kid-it was never a big deal to my parents; it was like Groundhog’s Day or Cinco de Mayo or Boxing Day….it was on the calender, but no one really ever did anything about it.  We usually just got the parent whose day it was a card and left them alone for the day (our gift to them!). 

After thinking it over I guess I can see how it works though-I can’t say that I hate getting presents myself-so I am thinking I should make a definate resolution this year to actually sit down and do something for my mom [my step mom-for those of you who know me in real life and were thinking “wha?!“] besides getting her a card that says “Happy Mother’s Day” on the front and then repeating it in my own handwriting on the inside.  [Hey, I write my name too!]  Not because she would want something, or even expect something…maybe it’s because she’s NOT expecting anything that I think it would be more fun.

So I got a card [some habits are hard to break] and wrote her a nice long letter and tucked a picture the little bear drew in with it-but what about a present?  I didn’t really have an idea, because whatever I decided I would have to ship it since they live so far away now [still sad about that…..I miss my parents!], plus we’re not exactly the Rockafellers so the gift itself would most likely have to cost less than the shipping costs….then I thought of something brilliant [if I do say so myself].

Photosharing.

It’s totally free [if you find the right site] and doesn’t require any shipping, and a great surprise for family.  What mom/grandma doesn’t ADORE pictures?  And I found the PERFECT site too! You can upload your pictures, and then edit them to eliminate red eye, too much or too little flash [all those mistakes I tend to make], and then put them into an album that is accessable only to the people who YOU invite to view it. 

You can also use the site even if you don’t have a digital camera!  All you have to do is send them your film to develop just like you’d do at any grocery store-the prints start at about 10 cents a piece-and they will send them back to you and automatically put them online for you to share.

Another great part about this site is that you, or any of your family that you invite to see your pictures, can make fun memorabilia out of your pictures [coffee mugs are my favorite idea], and can also request prints!

The only small downside is that people who look at your account need to sign up for an account as well-but it’s a FREE account, so no one has to be out any money for it.

Not only great for Mother’s Day, I could see this working for families who have graduations and weddings and new babies just as well.

Photosharing works for me! To find other things that work, visit Rocks in my Dryer.

April 24, 2007

You’ll Never Guess What This Is

Filed under: Life, To-Do about Tuesday — mrslady @ 12:14 am

It’s a To Do About Tuesday!  That’s right ladies and gents-I am finally around to writing one again….how many Tuesdays have passed without one?  I don’t want to think about what a neglectful blogger I’ve been lately.

One of the things I’ve been doing lately is something called “Yahoo! Answers”.  It is something that came with my email account and I’ve been ignoring for a long time, but I have gotten sucked into it lately.  It probably has something to do with my resolution not to boss people around anymore…..now I just dispense “advice” to complete strangers.  Which I relish.

So there you have it-this To Do about Tuesday has excerpts from my nagging advice on several topics from the world wide message boards.  Enjoy.

Q: What is the difference between romance and love? 

A: Romance is flowers and candy and wine. It’s moonlight and candlelight and dinners out. It’s going dancing or to the movies.

Love is “No hunny, go back to sleep-I’LL wake up with the baby”. Love is coming home from work and having dinner on the table waiting for you. It’s waking up in the middle of the night when your grown wife has a nightmare to turn the light on and stroke her hair until she goes to sleep. It’s rubbing your husband’s feet after he spends his 10 hour shift sweating into his boots, and NOT making him take a shower first.

Love is putting the other person’s needs before your own. It’s sacrificing together to make your life together better. It is a selfless choice you make and an action you take every single day for the benefit of someone else.

You can have romance and not love, but if you have love you can’t avoid romance.

Source(s):
Happily in Love for Almost 5 years

Q:If you could do life over again what would you change?

A: would do everything exactly the same. Even everything I did wrong, and everything that made my life harder. Because I wouldn’t want to accidentally undo something about my life that I love. Who knows? If I change one thing I might not have met my husband, who I couldn’t live without. Or if I changed something we might not have had our son, the most wonderful beautiful child on the planet [I’m allowed to be biased, I’m a mommy].

I am glad to have done and experienced everything I have. The good things were accomplishments that I am proud of, and the bad things taught me invaluable lessons that make my life better every day.

The only thing I could never live with is regret.

Q:Why do people expect me [a teenager]to act like an adult, but don’t let me make adult decisions?

A:Here’s the way I see it-there are stages of growing up.

Stage one is when you are an infant. You are just learning information relavant to you-you are a person, mommy and daddy are people, up is up, down is down, etc.

Stage two is from when you are a toddler until you are about 12. You are gathering basic information-basic morals [right vs. wrong], basic education [colors, shapes, numbers, how things work], etc. In this stage you learn information that is relevant not only to you in the present, but to you in the future.

Stage three is from about 13 to about 20 (I say about because every kid is different). In stage three you are a teenager, and you are practicing the information that you have learned. You are discovering the consequences and responsibility of making decisions, however your parents are still there to protect you from the things that would hurt you most. There are some decisions that seem good when you are a teenager that have long range consequences which you are just not prepared to think all the way through. It’s not a bad thing-it’s just normal. Eventually, when you’re older you’ll have a little bit more foresight and will be able to protect yourself from the things that would hurt you most. That’s when you reach stage four.

Stage four is adulthood. There is a lot of room for improvement (obviously you’re not going to be as experienced at 20 as you are at 60), but you basically understand the concept that there are far reaching consequences to your actions, and that you should take as much information into consideration as possible before you go around making decisions. At this point, your parents stop telling you what to do and start expecting you to figure it out on your own. Eventually they won’t be around to even ask anymore (I’m an adult and that thought STILL scares me!).

The thing is, just like riding a bike or playing the tuba, you have to be taught and then you have to practice what you’ve learned before you will be able to do it on your own. I know that being a teenager is frustrating, but everyone goes through it and comes out on the other side a better person for it.

Be patient. Good luck.

Source(s):
Ex-Teenager, Mom of 1

Q: is having kids a good idea? see a lot of people who seem miserable with kids. also for a man having a kid can be a disaster since the woman could leave, take his kid, and then he has to pay her for it. …plus with kids you have to give your life to them instead of living your own. im 24 now and not planning on having kids right this second. but i wonder if i would even want to. i see these guys in the stores with kids and they look miserable. …what do you think?

A: That’s the problem-you’re looking while they’re in the store! Taking small children to the store is worse than being strip searched at the airport and walking on hot coals with bare feet COMBINED. Small children+Stores=Disaster. Of course they look miserable!

What you DON’T see is when they go home. At home, when their baby toddles over to them and says “I love you daddy” and gives them a big kiss-and how it almost makes them cry because it’s so beautiful. At home, when the baby falls asleep in his arms and he snuggles them close. At home when his child shares his toys with his siblings all by himself and how PROUD that makes him. At home, where he plays catch with his child, or watches his kids play and realizes there is nothing more amazing and blissful than the laughter of children.

If you could see that then you would understand why having children is the most awfully beautiful, tragically wonderful thing that could ever happen to a person.

And there you have it-To Do About Tuesday….the advice edition. 

April 20, 2007

*Frugal Fridays* Savings

Filed under: Frugal Fridays, Good Ideas — mrslady @ 3:35 pm

One thing we have always had a big problem with is saving our money.  I think a lot of people (especially people like us who are already living on extremely tight  modest budgets) get a little intimidated when they think about saving.  It’s hard to imagine being able to save anything when you have to buy the day old bread just because it’s 30 cents cheaper.

That’s why pre-tax spending is so great.  A lot of jobs out there give you the option to put some money away into an account (like an IRA) before it even gets into your paycheck.  When you do that not only are you saving money for that rainy day you KNOW is coming some day, but you’re also putting the taxable amount of income on a lower level, which saves you some money wasted on taxes too.

Even saving a little can help.  We save $50 per paycheck in my husband’s IRA.  It doesn’t hurt us terribly (we can still eat and all), but it really adds up.  My husband gets two paychecks a month, when you put that in for 18 years (maybe you’re donating to a college fund?) then you have just saved $21,600!

Then consider this: even while working at the lowest of low jobs, I got a raise once a year of 50 cents.  An extra 50 cents an hour, working full time 40 hours, gives you an extra $80 per month, so if you save half of your raise wages then you’re saving a total of $140 dollars a month!

If you keep doing that-getting one 50 cent raise every year and putting another $40 a month into savings each time you do-then in a full 18 years you will have saved-get ready-$95,040!  (First year at $100, Year 18 at $780 per month after adding $40 to your monthly savings each time you get a 50 cent raise (I’m saying that happens once a year, but I know people who get those every 6 months!). That’s a lot of money to ME, and more than enough to put your kid into a decent college for a couple of years (right now at least).  Now imagine what you can do between when your child is in college and when you retire! (At least I can-that’s one of the lesser known ADVANTAGES of having your children when you are young.  I know that once my son goes to college I’ll have almost 30 years before I retire.  In case you’re wondering-30 years, upping your savings by 25 cents an hour every year (when you get a 50 cent raise an hour every year) you’re looking at a total savings of $244,800, not including any other investments you might make or if you decide to “double up” [save twice as much] once you hit 50 as is usually recommended.)

So the moral of this Frugal Friday is even the smallest drop in the bucket can someday make a title wave-and when we’re talking about money I wouldn’t mind swimming in it!

*For more Frugal Friday tips go to Biblical Womanhood*

April 17, 2007

WFMW Spring Extravaganza!

Filed under: WFMW — mrslady @ 11:17 pm

Okay “extravaganza” may be a little bit of an overstatement, but it’s still true-I love spring!  I really really do.  Somthing about spring is just fresh and invigorating.  It’s a time to do projects, try new things, and be a little impulsive.

Every time Spring rolls around I always end up doing something big-like I did this Sunday when I cut 9 inches off my hair!  I blame it on the spring bug.  And while I always end up thinking I took it just a little too far, I really enjoy doing new things because in my heart I’ve always considered spring to be the start of my next year.

Here are a list of fun things to do (some that I have done, some that I haven’t) to shake things up a bit and put  a little Spring in your life.

1. Change your “look”.  I just did this [see above note about hair whacking] and it definately has that new Spring feeling.  If you don’t want to go so far as to cut your hair you can always do other things-dye it, perm it, straighten it…or you can stay away from it altogether.  Try a new clothing style that interests you. (I recently fell in love with a pair of 40s looking open toed shoes with a wedge heel and ballet ties, which inspired me to be all excited about vintagey stuff again, which made me want to cut my hair short (and also has me looking at some polka dot shirts!)).  Or decide on a new “signature” color. 

 2. Move the furniture.  You don’t have to buy all new furniture to make your house look different.  Turn some things around, face them in different directions, take advantage of wherever the sun falls in your house.  If you have a few extra dollars, pick up a cute little lamp at Goodwill or buy new curtains.  Even just a few little things can make your house feel new and fresh.

3.  Speaking of curtains, another excellently fun thing to do in Spring is start a project or a new hobby….like making curtains (really easy, I promise), sponge painting your walls, going through your closets, learning to knit (also easy and fun!), starting a new blog or fixing up your current one-find something new to do and you’ll enjoy your Spring a lot more.

4.  Whic brings me to new activities:  I like to do new things in Spring.  Find a new coffee place (if you drink coffee), or a new record store.  Start antique shopping (even if it’s window antique shopping, something I’ve known and loved).  Go to a new excerize class, or start new excerizes at home.  Plant a garden, add new flowers to your existing one, or buy a potted plant for the inside of your house.  I’ve also heard scrapbooking is fun.  There’s a lot of good options out there~just be creative!

5.  Make fun spring meals-add a few new meals to your repretoire and cycle them in.  Or, use things like food coloring and accents to spice up your staple meals.  Blue pancakes for breakfast?  Kids love blue pancakes.

 Do you do anything special for Spring?  If you do, what do you do?  I’m occupied right now….off to play with my new haircut again.

For more tips from WFMW you can visit Rocks in My Dryer.

April 12, 2007

Hi My Name is MrsLady

Filed under: About Me, Life — mrslady @ 10:17 pm

And I’m a Pinata-holic.  I was going to try to explain to you that my life got in the way of me blogging these past few days, and that’s KINDA true since we’re getting hubby road-ready again and my sister came for an inpromptu visit.  However, the real reason for my absence is that I am an addict.

VIVA PINATA! 

Have you played this game?  It’s an XBox game that’s kind of a mix between Animal Crossing and Sims for Playstation and it is like XBox crack.  I am finding that every time I have a spare minute I want to play, and when I’m not playing I’m thinking about playing.  Even right now-the only reason I’m not playing is because my husband and my brother in law are playing a different game right now.

I’m sick.

Don’t worry though-when hubby goes on the road he takes the XBox with him.  I will be forced into withdrawls……which leaves plenty of time for blogging.

April 9, 2007

Suzy Homemaker Strikes Again

Filed under: Family, General Info, House and Home — mrslady @ 10:16 am

This week I have been shocking and aweing my family with delightful culinary masterpieces for dinner.  Is this a devious plot to ensure that my hubby will be rediculously homesick while working in Alaska and eating hotel food?  Absolutely not.  Yes.  Yes it is.

It is also because I want him to have something of nutritional value in his system before he goes because instead of eating normal food he just buys a bunch of pop tarts/cup o noodles to eat because he doesn’t want to “cook”.

So as I said this week is a feat of culinary proportions.  On Friday we had my super special meatloaf, on Saturday we had Nacho Beef Dinner Night which we all adore,  and yesterday we had Pot Roast

Tonights gastronomic gala?  Strada.  Wha?? You say.  Exactly-that’s why I’m posting about it.  It is one of my most favorite things of deliciousness, not to mention that it is rediculously versatile (think: of chili-like proportions).  Everyone has there own recipes for it, and you can find about a 1,001 recipes for it on Cooks.com (okay, 49). However, here is my recipe for simple egg strada for picky eaters (or people who have digestive issues-like me with the terrible heartburn induced by everything under the sun):

Pan

Butter 

8 Eggs

2-4 Cups of Milk

2 Cups of Cheese (any kind you like really, I usually do 1 cup of chedder and 1 cup of parmesan)

1 Loaf of French Bread

Spices

First things first-I don’t use spices.  I just use French Bread that already has spices on it.  (I like the Rosemary Oregano French Bread from Walmart for about $2.) Secondly, the reason that the milk says “2-4 cups” is that I do it by sight, but I seem to remember the recipe saying somewhere between 2 and 4.  I just add milk until it the eggs are a pastel yellow color (a little less milk than I use to make scrambled eggs).  And lastly, I will occasionally add bacon in the recipe.  If you do, make sure to pre-cook the meat before you put it in.

Strada is really easy-grease your pan (I like to use butter, but if you perfer something else I don’t think it would make a terrible amount of difference) then slice your french bread into medium thickness pieces.  Put a layer of bread down on the bottom of the greased pan then sprinkle cheese over the top.  Then put another layer of bread, then another layer of cheese.  If you want to add meat, just throw it in there after the cheese.  I like to avoid stacking them directly on top of eachother, like in a tall tower stack, but instead put them together like I’m building a pyramid (two on the bottom one on the top).

Mix eggs and milk and spices (if separate) together.  Pour it over the bread and make sure that you hit every piece of bread (hence, pyramid stacking rather than tower stacking).  Put it in the fridge and refridgerate at least 12 hours or overnight (whichever is longer).

The next day bake at 300 degrees for 1.5 hours or 350 for an hour.  Wait 10 minutes after pulling it out to cut it.

Like I said before there are all different kinds of strada.  If you can handle the spicey things you could do something like this Ranch Strada recipe.  You can even do a dessert strada like this one.  The only must-haves are bread and eggs-other than that YOU MAKE UP THE REST!

I hope you find a strada recipe that works for you because this is definately one of the easiest meals to make and one of the most yummy to eat!

It Needed to Be Said

Filed under: Blog Business — mrslady @ 9:29 am

So I was sitting here purusing my blog to make sure that everything looked good and was in order (a wise, seasoned blogger told me once that you have to look at your own blog to make sure it all works right!) and what do I find?  Flaws!

I know.  You’re shocked.

However, the largest  most noticeable of all of the many flaws things that needed attention was that there was no accessable “About Me” section.  I immediately went about fixing that particular situation. 

Writing “About Me”s is something that I generally dispise, because I always find it difficult to summerize myself in a pleasant but honest way.  I’m kind of more partial to everyone just drawing their own conclusions about me, but I don’t think that’s very fair in the blog world.

So now it’s there in black and white-Well, blue and white at the top of the page.  If you click on it you will find out all sorts of juicy tidbits about me……….

 ……..okay not really.  But there is stuff up there-none of it being juicy though.

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