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The Pros and Cons of Christmas

After running through my favorite dofollow mommy blogs and seeing lots of posts stating "I haven't been online for awhile" it makes me feel better that I have let my nice new blog languish with no entries for about two weeks. My how time flies this time of year. On one hand, I'm ready to hit New Year's and clear the Christmas tree and trappings out of the house and on the other, I'm gently applying the brakes to prolong the magic of the season.

WHAT'S DIFFERENT - The PROS of the Season

I take the long route through my temporary seasonal neighborhood each and every trip to the discount store. Kudos to my neighbors for their prize winning, creative decorations. One house that I've never been able to view from the street for the trees gets the prize for the most breathtaking display even though I STILL can't see the front door! She (or they or whoever)has done an extremely artful job of stringing twinkling white lights throughout the forest. I'm sure that the folks who are working their way through the devastating ice storm up north would not appreciate the faux ice storm, but in the quiet of the dark 80 plus degree southern night it is truly beautiful. This property owner took lemons and made juicy, flavorful lemonade by working with what she had and the (mostly) natural beauty has outdone the multitudes of door wreaths, reindeers and Santa Claus vignettes hands down!


I hate to say it, but the cons take the award this year for sheer numbers. As I mentioned a few posts back, my mother refused to come this far south....period. I must admit that I have enjoyed calling her to inform her how very lovely the weather has been until a day ago. This woman never ceases to amaze me as to how she can spin everything to be so incredibly about HER! With less than two weeks before Christmas, she has informed me that she has a health issue and needs to go to the doctor. And guess what? She expects me to travel north to take her! What the heck??? Here I am with children, animals and more on my shoulders than I can handle some days and she can't drive (or take a taxi) to the doctor's office?

I know that she is getting up there in age and she may have something going on healthwise, but I also know her and her manipulative ways. She has realized she is going to be alone for Christmas as she refused to come south. This is her way to get me up there so that she can have it her way. I can't believe the self centered ways of some people when they get older. Is this the same mother that sacrificed her time for me as a child? Blazing cannons would not have pulled her away from her children during the holidays. Why is she expecting this of me? Is there any wonder that depression runs rampant during this time of year. With all of the demands it's a wonder that more people don't crack open a bottle and cock the pistol! Not that I'm to that point, but I can see where people might go there.


I Almost Forgot the Tomato (Fruit or Vegetable) Debate

I almost forgot the other interesting topic of conversation from our evening out. Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

It was amazing at how much conversational mileage this worn out debate carried! I will repeat my opinion here: The tomato is a FRUIT! To the jerk with the bad hairpiece and the ugly tie, I repeat The tomato is a FRUIT!

The reason that they are classified as fruits and not veggies (no they are not sweet but that doesn't make them a veggie Mr. Philosopher Want to Be).

Their very name comes from the Latin words for "Fruit Bearer".

The reasons tomatoes are classified as fruit are as follows:

  • They grow on trees. No matter how spindly their prickly stems are, they are considered to be branches.
  • Tomatoes have seeds
  • Tomatoes have skin
  • Tomatoes have juice
  • Tomatoes contain the fruit gene (and who wants to argue with the DNA these days?)

There you go Mr. Know it All! I hope you read my blog about this burning hot topic and realize I DID GET THE LAST WORD!

BEATLES SONGS HAVE ROOTS IN THE BLUES - Not Your Usual Holiday Cocktail Party Banter

The cocktail parties are starting already. It seems as though hostesses are in a hurry to "get it over with" rather than looking forward to holiday gatherings this year. If they think that their guests are not picking up on the sentiment, or lack of, they better think again.

At the party we attended last night the hors d'oeuvres lacked the creative display and enthusiasm of past years. I am one of those people that graze their way through festivities and most of the fun is sampling new recipes and to engage in stimulating conversation. I could hardly believe my eyes when last night one of the more innovative hostesses of the past had resorted to blocks of cream cheese covered with pepper jelly surrounded by plain old Ritz crackers. I'm not being critical I just couldn't help but notice the change in style.

And the conversation was pretty stimulating, but rather combative! Not unusual because there's always somebody breaking the rules of polite chitchat, but surprisingly the arguments were not based on politics or the war in Iraq, it was whether or not Beatles songs had roots in the blues. No joke, one of the more lively conversations that I witnessed was a discussion of early Beatles music and which artists were their inspirations.

Usually, I don't allow myself to be pulled into this kind of thing. However, my mom was a huge Beatles fan and I grew up spinning her old lps (I still can't believe how casual she was about my handling of her precious vinyl records) from the early 60s.
I had to throw in my two cents worth and voice my opinion that I really don't hear much blues influence in songs like "I Saw Her Standing There" or "Twist and Shout".
Although in their next album, they did include a Chuck Berry song, "Roll Over Beethoven", but I don't classify that song as blues. Money (That's What I Want) was on that album, too but that's not really blues either. My next question is how the conversation on whether Beatles songs are blues songs got started in the first place! Now, Eric Clapton songs? There's no argument that lots of his stuff is blues...but the Beatles? That's a stretch.

If you'd like to argue this point with me, give me a shout at Oooh Baby Baby.

Brett Favre the Darling of South Mississippi's Injury

What a shame that Brett Favre was injured and had to leave the Packers game against Dallas. I saw where some of the commentators were being accused of focusing way too much on his injury to the extent that the rest of the game was virtually ignored.

Pardon me if I don't mind the extra attention that this player gets! Any and all love and bias sent in the direction of Brett Favre is just fine with me.
This shining star straight out of South Mississippi is in my opinion one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and a good guy to boot! If I had a houseful of baby boys instead of all these girls, I would be on my knees praying each and every night that my sons would follow in his footsteps. Well, actually it would be a tossup between whether I would ask for devine guidance for them to follow the Manning boys or Brett...either would make this SEC loving mama very happy!

Some of the blog comments are that the replays of Brett's injury were overplayed and that Grant's touchdown was not given the attention that it deserved. I agree with that, but I can also see that when one of the shining stars of football is hurt a little extra coverage is bound to happen.

Personally, I would much rather have more information on Brett Favre's injury than players who involve themselves in disgusting activities like dog fighting.

If you don't agree with my opinion on this, you can always yell at me on my baby blog.



Several days of dreary rain, fog and chilly weather drained me of the energy to perform all the household duties, start shopping for Christmas and participate in Thanksgiving. Good news is that the turkey and dressing were both moist and delicious. It's never a good thing to turn out a feast that's dry and unappetizing because the lack of quality is remembered until the next time that you do turkey with all the fixings. I think I found the answer to a beautiful bird worthy of a Martha Stewart photo shoot: basting.

Yes, indeed there are multiple benefits to pulling that heavy roaster in and out of the hot oven for three hours every thirty minutes or so. Other than burning my knuckles on the rack during the process, I believe that to baste is indeed best. I had read that the food that is in magazine photographs is virtually inedible because it is not actually cooked to eat. The recipes are created to look sharp, not taste good. I should have invited the photographers to come and take pics of my turkey! It was baked at 325, basted as I mentioned above and the breast was a beautiful, crisp golden brown with just the right number of spicy flecks for good measure! And it tasted positively wonderful. Eat your heart out Martha! Kiss my hiney, Rachel Raye, it IS possible to have a pretty entree that you can eat!

Here's the recipe for basting a Thanksgiving turkey that everybody loves except one of my kids' but the majority of the votes are positive!

1 stick of salted butter
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. basil leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves (I didn't have any leaves so I used ground..so shoot me)
1 tsp. black pepper

I melted the butter and stirred the spices in.

I LIGHTLY sprinkled salt all over the turkey inside and out. I put the bird in the oven with a tent of foil for about 30 mins. Then every half hour I slop some of the butter mixture inside and out of the bird, replace the foil tent and back in the oven she goes for another half hour. For the last half hour of baking, I baked without the foil tent, but with lots of basting mix on the skin.

There you go! Easy as pie so long as your back doesn't go out from bending over to baste like mine did! LOL Really, it did. My lower back went wonky on me that morning and it's just now getting to the point that I can stand up straight so the rest of my holiday recipes may have to wait until Christmas!


Healing Foods for ADHD

Occasionally one of the girls or one of the cousins might drink just a little too much sweet tea. The after effects are that they will begin to chatter non-stop while displaying an inability to stop moving their feet. The adults might laugh and tell them that we didn't know ADHD come on so suddenly!

For those of us who don't suffer from it, I suppose it's easy to joke about something that is so hard for other parents to deal with on a daily basis. What brings this to mind today is that we recently got some new neighbors in the house next door. I was so thrilled when I saw that they have children similar in age to my own. Before the moving van had pulled away, I had my "Welcoming Committee Casseroles" in the oven so that I could help out with their supper that evening.

Within a few hours I was tapping on the door ready to introduce myself. The lady that answered the door looked tired, but excited with her new home and that neighbors had been so welcoming and friendly. She invited me in, but I sensed some resistance and I really didn't know what to make of it. I assured her that I didn't want to impose on such a busy day and just wanted to drop off something that she could heat up whenever she felt like it. She looked so relieved that I thought that I had indeed intruded. I was about to duck out the door, when we heard a crash from the other room.

I felt I should go with her to investigate because of the kids and sure enough one of hers was standing to the side of the scene of the accident, another in a child carrier just out of harm's way and the other was right in the middle of the carnage. Mom seemed to know which child was responsible right away and took him by the hand to walk me to the door. The little boy was pulling against her all the way and seemed distressed. She took this opportunity to explain to me that he was ADHD and that she had wanted an opportunity to talk to me about his condition before I met him as they didn't believe in medicating for it and there were times when he got pretty out of control.

People, I felt that the Lord had sent this lady into my orbit! My sister had a child with much the same symptoms as this little fellow and also has the belief that medication may not be the answer. She was determined to try natural means before resorting to meds and she has had amazing results. She has come to believe that many cases of ADHD could be helped if not completely eliminated by dietary changes! She got lots of tips from Dr. Melanie Beingessner product resources. She's the doctor who wrote the Calm Baby Cookbook. I am in no way affiliated to this lady, but have seen firsthand the benefits of following some of her suggestions!
I had real problems with my baby having severe rashes when I was breastfeeding that disappeared once I identified and eliminated trigger foods.

I told my new neighbor about this and I hope she gets some good results, because she really looks worn out and at her wits end. If anyone else has suggestions to add, I would love to forward them to her!


Other Than Starving the Pilgrims Had it Pretty Good

I'm taking a break while the cornbread for the dressing is baking in the oven. I usually take a few minutes to make a list of the things that I am thankful for each Thanksgiving but for some reason this year I'm having trouble focusing.

I believe that the making of my traditional, annual Thanksgiving list is being overshadowed by my “stuff that I need to do” list.

My “to do” list is filled with entries such as:

  • Try to fix the vacuum cleaner
  • Get the cat a bigger litter box
  • Check to see why the county didn’t send us our tax bill yet
  • Clean out the hatch of the car
  • Peel potatoes for my signature sweet potato pie

If I tried really hard I'm sure I can add least 10 more things to my list. I'm sure that the participants of the first Thanksgiving had a few things on their “to do” list, but somehow I picture them as being much less stressed than people today.

Think about it: they grew the food, they cooked the food, and they ate the food. Most of their immediate concerns in the New World had to do with food. No running hither and yon to pick up dry cleaning or to take the cat to the vet. I certainly don’t want to diminish the desperate circumstances is of that early time in our history that you have to admit in some ways they had it pretty darn good.



I'm really paying for messing around with my template, as I'm working with a BRIGHT rosy pink background that I'm not crazy about. The other template I was using had a much more pleasing color, but I was not crazy about it. I'm making a mental note to learn more about web design and learn how to make templates that I like. Maybe that can be my New Year's resolution that I don't keep?

On the upside, I'm sure that I got the dofollow thing going again and that was really important to me as I had tried to get the word out about that and didn't want to get branded as a storytelling blogger.


I Have Completely Screwed Up

Ok everybody! I have screwed up by playing around with my template. All my roomie, do follow attributes and blogger chicks widget and everything have been lost! That's what I get for trying to combine childcare, recipe troubleshooting and blogging! Please give me a day or so to reconstruct my blog and get it back to normal. Work with me y'all! I could use a little support if anybody could send it! Ouch.

I was trying to install an odiogo wigdet and it seemed not to work on my old timey blogger template. So, I get smart and start to monkey around with templates about the time baby was having a mini meltdown and whammo a wrong button is pushed and all is lost. I apparently pushed a "switch to" button rather than my "gimme a preview" button. Well, I like the colors ok, so I'm going to try to make the blasted thing work. Pray for me y'all!

Skipping Thanksgiving - Jumping Straight from Halloween to Christmas

I know that you all have taken note that Christmas decorations and open houses were in full swing the day after Trick or Treat. Does anyone else remember when people who started hanging lights on their gutters on first day of December were thought to be jumping the gun and pushing the holidays?

I remember the year that we got our tree on the third of December. What a year for the record books! Mother had previously said that to put decorations up any earlier diminished their importance. It was her opinion that special things should be kept, well...special. We didn't question her when she announced that we could kick off the season early and started cruising the fence lines in the pastures with enthusiasm. We found a cedar that only had to have three or four feet chopped off so that we could get it in the front door and thought we were the luckiest kids in the world that we were the first to get our tree up on our block. We were the envy of our friends and looked forward every afternoon to the moment the lights were plugged in and our living room was magically transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland.

How wonderful it was to have those extra weeks of expectation and fun. As an adult and looking back, I realize that the reason she bent the rules a bit was that money was so tight that year. I can honestly say that I never noticed that mother didn't seem to be as thrilled with the early onslaught of Christmas cheer as we kids. Maybe she thought that the joy of decorating earlier than normal would divert attention from Christmas wishes that didn't get granted in the way of gifts? Whatever her thinking might have been, it must have worked. We considered ourselves the luckiest kids in town that we got our tree up before our friends!

It makes me wonder if the need for a spiritual lift is the reason that people are putting up their Christmas pretties earlier and earlier.


Willing Your Frozen Eggs and Embryos to Your Kids?

With women of advanced maternal age having put off having their babies until late in life, I'm hearing more and more discussion about the fate of frozen eggs and embryos. I'm surprised that nobody's given the fate of these precious little bits of life some thought before now.

What happens to the frozen eggs if the mom never uses them? Are there any laws on the books for this situation? One discussion that I heard said that maybe they should be part of a person's legacy and left to their children. I can see where this might be a viable solution. What if something happened that your daughter's eggs were damaged and she couldn't have children? Having a few of mom's unfertilized eggs lying around could really simplify things (and reduce the cost of?) in case she needed to opt for in vitro fertilization. What is the shelf life of human frozen embryos anyway?

On the other hand, what if you have no children and the future of your fertilized or unfertilized eggs needs to be decided as part of your estate planning? What should be done? Is it ethical to just toss them? Are there facilities that welcome donations or do people sell them? Ethics aside, what is the price of frozen human embryos? I have to admit that I'm not knowledgeable in this area but I would love to know more about it and can see where there might be some controversy because of the disagreement of when life begins.



This is not a rant about how ABC,NBC or CBS is not putting enough child friendly television programs out there. There's more than enough excellent programming out there for kids. Today I'm being a selfish mom and I'm complaining that the tv shows on the networks stink!

I'm not a chick that spends her days on the sofa eating chocolates and watching soaps. When the kids are asleep, at preschool or visiting elsewhere I tend to enjoy the company of the television while I fold the laundry, dust, and try new recipes or new crafts. Is it just me or are television shows just getting less interesting?
Where are the Raymonds and Seinfelds? If I never watch another reality or game show again it will be way too soon! I know the networks have to be marketing to some audience but who might they be?

And the cop shows, MY GOSH!!! Do people not get enough crime through the network news? And another thing, the trend of flashing from one scene to another like lightening is enough to trigger a bout of epilepsy in a person.

Do you want to know what I think? If you've stuck with me this far, you must care, right? I think that producers are resorting to guts, gore and camera tricks to get out of writing a decent storyline.

And you know what it's doing for them? It's breaking society from the tv addiction! Yep, before I made this post I made a point to ask 5 women what their favorite television show was and 4 out of 5 said, we really don't watch television like we used to! Whoa! What is Les Moonves going to say about that? Probably not that much, because 5 out of the 5 women I queried said that they try to make a point to record David Letterman and Craig Ferguson to watch the next day.

What do YOU think about the new fall television shows? Please tell me that my friends and I are not just old fashioned, out of touch fuddy duddies!



Here we are the day after Halloween! It seems like only yesterday that I was bitching about the hot weather and the drought. Just goes to show that time flies when you're having fun or not as the case has been at my house lately.

On the upside, trick-or-treating went well. There was no crying about a costume that didn't fit right, look right or that was duplicated by another kid down the street. This was our first time for trick-or-treating this far south. Southerners really make Halloween a major production! Churches have Trunk or Treat where the entire church parking lot is filled with parked cars with the hatches open or with open trunks filled with candy, baked goods and small toys for the children.

Even with all the festivities at the local churches our neighborhood was filled with little ghouls and goblins and their parents. The kids wanted to visit some of the neighbor's houses, and I went along with it. We were actually invited in for a light supper at two of the houses. The last one would not take no for an answer and treated us to a wonderful Halloween dinner of chicken chili served in hollowed out rolls. I had never a eaten any chili that was made with chicken before but I begged for the recipe!

Did anyone else feel that Halloween was so much more fun since daylight savings time had not kicked in yet? I hope that they don't turn the clocks back till after the 1st again next year!

Here's a recipe chicken chili

1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts or the chicken meat of your choice that has been cut into bitesize pieces
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cans (or a 29 oz can of ) diced tomatoes including the juice
2 cans (or (a 32 oz can of )Great Northern beans that have been drained
1/4 cup lime juice or fresh juice of 1 lime
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed, or 2 cups of fresh or canned kernals
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (southerners swear by Vidalia onions for obvious reasons)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil has been heated, slide your chopped onions and garlic into the oil

Stir and saute until onion is tender

Add your chicken and stir till lightly browned on all sides

Next add the chopped jalapeno pepper, coriander, cumin, tomatoes and juice and drained beans.

Turn the heat to low and let simmer for around 5 minutes

A lime juice and kernels of corn. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

Continue to simmer the mix, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, for 5 to 10 minutes more.

Serve with sour cream, chopped Vidalias and cilantro for guests to add to this easy recipe for chili.



I took the babies on a little road trip the other day and to keep them from squabbling I try to come up with games to play in the car with the older two. To make a long story short, I think I may have created a monster.

One of the games we play is to count the cell phone or microwave towers or road signs. I figure that this is a good way to begin teaching the older two about counting as well as their surroundings. Since it is so close to Halloween time I made an attempt to adapt our popular car counting game to cover Halloween decorations; pumpkins in particular.

The way we play it is that each time one of the kids spots a pumpkin of any kind they count it AND before they do they shout BINGO. On that particular trip I considered myself a virtual genius for coming up with this as it seemed to be so festive and entertaining they forgot about complaining about who was touching or leaning on them for a little while.

The problem is that between now and Thanksgiving we will not be able to ride through our neighborhood without having BINGO ringing in our ears. Is it just me or was this a bumper year for pumpkins?


HEY EVERYBODY! Please Can the Racial Slurs and Hate.

Mom still refuses to come down here and after I broached the subject of humidity being a lame excuse, she came forth with a few more details of why she doesn't want to visit "down here".

When I quizzed her, she said that she knew people who wouldn't even ride through some of the southern states to get to another location. Apparently they would rather go hundreds of miles out of their way rather than risk riding through the cradle of racial inequality. It's obvious that she's been convinced by somebody that the state song for all southern states is Dueling Banjos straight out of Deliverance and that all the citizens are snuff spitting backwards inbreds.

This is very insulting to me (as well as the area) as I've been telling her how much we enjoyed our time here and how many wonderful friends we have made. Has she been secretly harboring thoughts that our family was being joyfully recruited into one of the racial hate groups? Maybe she really doesn't feel like hopping on a plane and flying into Memphis and seeing the Home of the Blues up close and personal and doesn't want to tell me. That would certainly make a lot more sense than the garbage that she's spewing.

I have seen just as much racial bias in the northern reaches of this great land as I have in the southern areas. But, you know what? I have not seen much....PERIOD! People of all colors and races are hating crime and drugs and terrorism, etc. but very rarely each other! At least in the circles where I am.

On that subject, mom needs to get that racial bias can be all colors. I was floored when I watched Queen Latifah's movie Beauty Shop with Alicia Silverstone and Kevin Bacon. The racism coming from the characters of color was shocking and unpleasant. The whites in the movie were reduced to uncool social misfits or stereotypes and some of the racial slurs coming from the African Americans would NEVER have been tolerated coming from white people. In fact, most white people I know wouldn't lower themselves to that level. I love Queen, but EVERYBODY needs to can the hate!



We are down south right now and look to be here for awhile. For once we are southerners at the right time of year! I have mentioned to my mom that it would be nice if she came down and spent some time and we'd make it a point to do some sightseeing and travelling (that SHE loves to do) while she's here.

She got down right snarky about it and said no thank you, I doubt there's anything that I'd care to see down there. DOWN THERE???? Where does she think I am? In another country or in Hell? I have told her time and time again just how lovely the countryside and the people are here and she's completely ignored me. You know what she said this time along with other negative remarks? "It's so damp and HUMID down there" Again she's with the "down there" thing.

Well, I talked to my poor cousin in California today and she sent me pics of the wildfires raging within sight of her bedroom window! She said she would ADORE to come here but didn't feel she should leave her home. I told her she was welcome whenever she could come and told her the reason mom wasn't interested in taking me up on my invitation for the winter. She laughed and said that the entire state of California and many others would be thankful for more good old fashioned humidity. In her book, humidity is preferable to out of control fires any day of the week.

My feelings are hurt that mother uses humidity, which is only an issue in summer anyway, to not come. I plan to clear my mind by going to some of the charming towns that I've heard about while I'm in the area. I've been to Oxford many times, but may make another trip. You would be amazed at the movie stars, writers and famous musicians that are on that square at any given time. I've stood side by side with John Grisham at Square Books and chatted with the director/producer of some Cameron Diaz movie (Something About Mary?).

Hear that mom? Even famous people love it "down there".



I'm always brainstorming for WAHM ideas and last night when talking to one of my friends who manages apartment complexes, an idea hit me. I suppose it's not really WAHM, as you have to leave the house to do the work but it's a business that would be easy to start with little if any at all start up cost.

My buddy, Marie, was fussing about how every time an occupant moved out of one of the units she had to go in and clean and repaint. The apartment complex has a painting crew but the cleaning has to be done before they show up to paint the walls.

I think that it would be an excellent home-based business to provide cleaning services for unoccupied or recently vacated apartments only.

The reason that I think a cleaning service for unoccupied apartments or homes would be preferable over occupied homes is that there probably would be no need for bonding or insurance. Right? I mean the reason those home and office cleanup crews have to have insurance is due to the risk of damaging a homeowners belongings so if there ARE NO furnishings in the space why would you need insurance?

I picked up a few houses to clean once and frankly it was a headache. One lady supplied pictures in each bedside drawer of how she wanted her pillows arranged on the bed and I had no problem with that, in fact it helped! But, there was just no way that she was going to pay a reasonable fee for how much time it all took. Maybe I tried to do things TOO well? I know that for awhile I had more houses lined up than I could do. I think it was because I was (a)Thorough (b)Too cheap

Which brings to mind, how much should one charge for occupied home cleaning vs. empty home cleaning services?

Anyway I would love to hear some thoughts on the apartment cleaning thing, since my friend would be happy to throw business my way if I ever wanted to jump in and start a business. DH wouldn't mind keeping the tribe at night for a few hours and it would be a super way to get some extra money for emergencies.


Meds for MRSA or the Plain Old Stomach Flu?

Well, we started on meds for the MRSA condition for the littlest one, the middle one started complaining of a headache and the oldest one said that she jammed her finger. Well actually what she said was that she was sure her pinky finger was "splintered".

Then about 10:30 last night the little one who was getting in a little sympathy co-sleeping time woke up throwing up. It was very strange in that I became aware that she was wiggling through the fog of my sleepy exhaustion, but assumed that she would settle back into sleep. To make a long story short, she did not. She began to vomit up what she had eaten for LUNCH ten hours earlier! I know this is gross and disgusting, but what would cause food (chickpeas to be exact) to just sit in her tummy, undigested for that long a period of time? Would it be caused by the antibiotics they are giving her?


MRSA - Did the Gym Staff Give My Baby a Staph Infection?

I should've called this baby and family blog "Just When You Think" cause just when I think things are going pretty well life blindsides me and proves me wrong. Life with a house full of children and a demanding husband can really get my goat sometimes but I keep telling myself it's the journey not the destination and try to find something to enjoy and treasure about each and every day.


Any mom worth her salt will understand the reason for my negative attitude; I just found out that my baby has MRSA and will have to take all these powerful antibiotics, etc. etc. to deal with it. I completely admit that I don't know all there is to know(or all that I SHOULD know, or all that I WILL know before the day is over) about staph infections of any kind. There was some chat recently at the gym where DH goes that some of the staff members had developed or come down with cases of MRSA. Does this mean that my DH brought it home to baby?

This baby has had a time of it from the day she was born! She has allergies that were completely misdiagnosed by the pediatrician as eczema that caused to be covered in hives for the better part of her first year. She's allergic to peanuts, eggs, dairy and all the usual culprits and I have to watch her like a hawk for fear she'll pick up something she's not supposed to. And then there's the asthma and now this!

Sweet Jesus! We'll make it, but forgive me my Friday afternoon pity party, ok?

Has anybody else dealt with MRSA? I would love to hear from you and how it's affected your life. I believe that forewarned can be forearmed and I really need the support! Thanks for reading. C



For the record I'm loving the contact and comments from other moms in regards to child discipline versus child abuse etc. etc. I can still close my eyes and see that lady that I felt that I admired swinging around to hit her child in the back seat. Yes, it was that disturbing to me.

Okay let's move past that unpleasant event on to something else that's bugging me. My blog is acting crazy. My computer is relatively new and runs like a top so long as I don't type in the address to my very own baby blog! Yes, I'm having difficulties getting this blog that you are reading right now to load without locking up the whole system!

I have several ideas of what could be causing my blog to run so slow but I would appreciate some feedback from the rest of you who are more experienced in the world of blogging. I saw that one poster had had the same experience after she put some items in her sidebar. I have several items in my own sidebar, but how do I know which one is causing the problems? Plus, I really don't want to delete my blogrolls do I? I was about to install a "Do Follow" emblem but I'm afraid that it will cause a complete system failure!

I see lots of other mommy and baby and women empowerment blogs with many more widgets, links, advertisements and blog rolls than I have that same to load much faster than mine. Is this something that's commong with blogger templates? If anybody has any ideas, tips or tricks to fix this problem I would appreciate your help and suggestions.


Good Child Discipline or Child Abuse?

I'm always looking for ways to make the house run smoother. I pay close attention to the ways other parents seem to make this happen in their homes. I confess that sometimes I get really envious of moms with quiet, obediant kids when my babies are whining, sassy or just plain hard to control! I find myself wanting to ask total strangers their secrets of dealing with the strong-willed child and what forms of discipline they find to be successful. The only thing holding me back is that I'm afraid that the wild look in my eyes might frighten them!

I try to think of creative, kind and effective methods of mob control, but I'm telling you that there are days when nothing seems to work. On those occasions I feel like such a blooming failure at parenting. I love these children so much and I want them to be functioning members of society, but how do I do this if I can't get them to behave?

I typed all of that in order to rat another mom out, I'm sorry to say. Here's what happened and y'all tell me if I'm wrong to be a little disturbed.

Today as we were leaving homecoming at church I met a lady that I knew from one of the civic groups I belong to on the four lane that runs through this small town. This lady is one of the women that I consider to have an orderly well-behaved brood. This is a person to whom I would (before this incident) have paid a reasonable sum of money for a blueprint of her methods of making her kids behave.
Churches all over town were letting out and traffic was moving slowly in all lanes.

This lady was going north and I was travelling south. She was conversing with one of the kids strapped in a carseat while looking at him/her through the rearview mirror. I was waiting for her to turn her attention back to the road ahead so that I could raise may hand to wave in greeting (laying the groundwork to weasel my way into her graces to obtain her secrets) when she swung around and started whaling the tar out of the baby in the back seat's little legs with one arm while driving the mini-van with the other.
Not to mention that she was swerving on the road because she was so busy meting out punishment to the passengers!

Parenting is a tough job and there is SUCH a fine line between child discipline and child abuse! I'm trying to remember more about a video that was taken of one of those Travellers awhile back. It seems the mom might have had her child taken from her because of a home video that caught her standing in a parking lot whipping her little girl, if I recall correctly. Well, this was the moving traffic version of that kind of spanking and I wonder what might happen if somebody HAD taken a video.

I tell you my friends, this makes me feel MUCH better about my rambunctious bunch! I'm not judging this woman, but it's my opinion that I was NOT watching a productive form of child discipline. In fact, (here I go judging when I said I wouldn't) it seemed more like child abuse!



Well, just when you think the week's gonna fly by with no real problems, hubby blows through the door asking what I'd charged on the credit card. I'm sure I looked kind of like a fish gasping for air for a minute, standing there with my bright yellow playtex gloves dripping from the dish water that I'd been happily swishing around in until I turned in shock.

Quickly making a mental credit history, I thought to ask him exactly WHICH credit card to which he was referring. He dug the offensive piece of plastic out of his wallet and began reading the numbers off of the front. After firing them off like a drill sergeant he stood there expecting an explanation. Like I memorize all of our credit card numbers? Peeling off the gloves, asked to take a look.

The numbers still were sharply raised on the cards so I knew that it had to be one of the newer credit cards in our inventory. Sure enough, it was the most recent credit card that we had received and I had reserved it specifically for expenditures related to advertising my blog on a few paid directories on the net. Last week I submitted this very blog to several of the less expensive directories. Don't ask me why he chose this particular card to gas up the car but here we were having an apparent standoff over the charges. Guiltily I explained to him that I had charged a little advertising for my blog. He then informed me that my "inexpensive advertising" had maxed out the credit limit to the point that the gas pump had kicked the card back.

I was in total shock because I knew the credit on the card was supposed to have a higher limit than what I had charged.
I got on the phone and called the company that had issued the card to find that they had put a lock on the account due to suspicious activity. The activity in question were charges coming from overseas. One in particular that really hacked me off were charges from Scotland to pay for what appeared to be a vacation in the UK!
The good thing is that even though I didn't pay for the pricey credit card insurance, they caught things before they got out of hand and are sending me a new card.

My question is, where did the thieves get my information? Could it be that some of the directories that I had paid passed my numbers around?


Baby Loves Potty Training her Baby Dolls ....Or Not?

Cass has always enjoyed playing with baby dolls. In fact all of the girls still enjoy playing mommy with their special dollies from time to time. I would have thought that the older girls would have made the transition from newborn infant baby dolls funky fashion dress-up dolls, but they still will engage with the little one in the occasional pretend diaper changing and bottlefeeding (Cass still pretends to breast-feed her babies by asking if baby wants ninny! Who on earth did she get that term from? It's my grandmother's word that I've tried to get past but Cass latched onto it with the vigor of the obsessed!

For practice and basic childcare they all prefer are the realistic looking baby dolls. Most of these baby dolls are so real looking back I'm having a hard time explaining to the little one that babies don't come from the toy aisle at Wal-Mart. I've tried to point out tummies of our pregnant friends for the purpose of telling her that the baby was inside. This approach didn't make much headway because on the way home she inquired as to why on earth Susie would swallow a baby doll after she bought it at Wal-Mart. Back to the drawing board!

This is not to say that soft infant dolls are the only victims of Cass's brutal attempts at baby care, for potty training she prefers her potty training Elmo doll. There are days when I feel that if I hear Elmo announcing one more time that he has to go to the potty I will snap. I think it gives me an anxious feeling when he says he has had an accident and didn't make it to the bathroom on time. I have enough stess in my day without worrying over Elmo soiling his diaper!



I don't know if moms in your area enjoy playing the dice game, Bunko, or not, but in my area it's written in red on most gal's calendar. There are more Bunko clubs around here than you can shake a stick at! It's the perfect opportunity (and excuse) for eight women to get together and see everybody's new home decorating project and eat somebody's cooking besides their own. Some clubs dress up and really put on the dog decking the tables and themselves out in fine style. Some serve cocktails and finger foods and say to "come as sloppy as you like". I want the best of both worlds and DH doesn't mind babysitting twice a month so I belong to one of each.

It's more or less understood that this is a mom's night out, but we do make exceptions for breastfeeding moms of newborns. Plus we love passing those sweet infants around right along with the dice used to play. We have NEVER had the first uncomfortable incident and laughed our tails off at all the uproar of breastfeeding in public, (With all the boobs in our faces for no good reason, where do they get off criticizing and censoring a mother feeding her baby?) but now we are having a problem with a breastfeeding mom. The issue is not that she is extending the unspoken breastfeeding acceptance within our club, it's that she is obsessed with breastfeeding to the point that when the dice are passed to her for her turn, she takes that opportunity to hog the dice and tell us about how many men (or people) that she has shocked that month by breastfeeding in public.

I'm afraid our club that's been together for several years is going to split over this! We are all pro-extended breastfeeding advocates, but this situation really has nothing to do with that. I feel it's an issue of selfishness and the need for one person to have the complete center stage!

More on this later. My timer just went off!



Did anybody else hear a news story about an afterschool program that allegedly (don't I sound all legal?) taped a child's mouth shut as some form of discipline? Was this as a personal sanity saver or what?
If I heard correctly, it was judged that taping a child's mouth shut is not a crime and the case was kicked out of court or some such nonsense.
My thoughts on this are that while it might not have been a crime for the daycare worker to do the taping, the tailkicking I gave HER for doing such a cruel and heartless thing to my child probably would be prosecutable to the full extent of the law.
What do y'all think about this mess? What would YOU do if a person left in charge of your children taped one of their mouths shut?

I suppose this hits close to home because I'm the mother of lots of little jabber jaws and while I've been pretty close to snapping and sticking cotton in MY ears at times, I would never do something like that to my own child or anyone else's!

Come on, tell me what you think about this!


As a mommy blogger with very little time (like all moms), I don't like the idea that parents who read my baby blog and take the time to make comments don't get the benefit of their comments being credited by search engines. Therefore, I searched and found (I hope) the way to make my mishaps of family and parenting blog a blog with dofollow coments.

I can moderate my blog and keep the spammy junk out, but for the rest of you moms that want to chat, please enjoy the dofollow comments feature and type away!

If you have a dofollow blog whose subject has anything to do with babies, pregnancy, family life and parenting I would love to hear from you!


For those of you who read my blog entry and asked how the trip to the zoo went in spite of the troubles jamming the stroller in the car and dealing with the clicking and clacking along with the complaints of the kids in regard to the stroller I thank you for your sympathy and questions.

One sweet sewing mom from the great State of Texas asked whether or not the trip to the zoo was enjoyed in spite of the stroller fiasco and others wanted to know if I had to wag the middle sister on my hip all day.

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words as they say and here we are with my middle one on my hip with the stroller behind the photographer. One baby on the hoof, one on the hip and another in a baby carrier.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



For the moms like myself that don't have much time to watch the early morning shows or search youtube for goodies, here's the Mom's William Tell Overture seems perfect training for when baby gets just a little older. This lady shoots all the directives in the span of a few minutes that moms of school age children parcel out during the course of any given day.

I don't have to deal with Ipods or problems with the little ones texting at the dinner table yet. My little ones are not old enough to know much more than cellphones are the way we call Mawmaw to tell her something wonderful we saw at the park or the zoo. But, the rest of the stuff like eat what's on your plate, don't sit too close, etc. etc. all ring true.

I will have to listen to the video again when I have a little more time to focus to see if there are other lyrics of her Mom's take on the William Tell Overture that apply to me and the average day in the life of the mom of many.

I noticed on the program where the mom was interviewed that her children were in their early to late teens. This gave me pause as I wondered whether I would still be telling the kids to comb their hair and don't be late when they get that age!
I wonder if there are ways to teach and discipline while they are young that will get that out of their system before they get to high school! I certainly hope so, big kids are so much harder to intimidate!

So, what do we do to avoid having to commit ourselves to a constant stream of orders until the kids leave home to go to college? Suggestions?



Against all odds we managed to make a zoo trip yesterday. It was the last day of that some of the exhibits were open and I was determined to make the trip. It was Cass' first time to stroll through and Lyndi and Allyson had not seen the exhibits that I mentioned.

The umbrella stroller was at Mamaw's house (of course) so we had to jam the BOB into the hatch. The danger in this was that even in the collapsed state, it was impossible to keep some of the frame from being lodged against the glass of the door. The prospect of hauling one and possibly two solidly built little girls through the zoo was not appealing, busted door glass or no. The BOB had to fit one way or the other. I wound up dumping some of the other contents in the middle of the carport (they're still there) and engaging in plenty of pushing and twisting to get it wedged in place, but ultimately I was able to slam the door shut without hearing anything crack.

Things started off well enough, but 30 miles into the journey there began to be signs of stress from the three sisters in the back seat. The complaints ranged from the usual "She's hogging the seat" to "Her finger is too close to me". Her FINGER?

Then the biggest one started to complain that the oversized stroller was pushing her seat into an uncomfortable position. I explained to her that there was no easy fix for this and she would just have to make do. Then the middle one started to say her head was beginning to hurt and she was sure it was from the stroller tapping and scraping against the hatch door every time I hit a bump.

Finally, we arrive at our destination! I wrestled the stroller to the ground and loaded the underseat storage area with everything but the kitchen sink. I went around the vehicle to unbuckle the littlest one and place her in the stroller (which operates like a dream, it's just big or my hatch is too small)raving about all the cool stuff she was about to see and then.....

she starts to scream that she doesn't WANT TO RIDE IN THE "CROLLER" she wants mommy to carry her!

And wouldn't you know, I had left the aspirin at home.


Cool Weather Doesn't Mean I Can Quilt

I finally got the nice cool weather I'd been asking for. FINALLY! Now I'm in the mood to do all those crafts and stuff it's been too hot to do! I'd love to make a baby quilt but I am just not sure that I know my way around a frame or a hoop or whatever you have to have to make a quilt.

Now, I'm on the lookout for quilt patterns for babies. I'm too impatient to sew by hand, but the sewing machine should move things right along if I could just figure out how to keep the bobbin thread from getting all twisted up. Just because it's cooler outside doesn't mean that my needlework will improve, does it?

Three Year Olds and Church

Well, now I've been humbled before, but DH got it GOOD Wednesday night. I'm telling you he came in from work with his stinger out ready to scrap (verbally of course) with any and everybody.

The girls knew to give a wide berth to their ill tempered daddy. We didn't even make the mistake on this particular afternoon to say, "What's wrong?" Apparently kids learn from their mistakes. Once or twice a year this mood hits and in the past we asked...we quickly found out either we really don't care or we really don't want to know.

The evening moved forward and at 6:30pm we headed out to church leaving hubby and his snarky mood behind in the wake of three girls going for religious training. Classes let out and we congregated for a closing moment in the main sanctuary. At the end, the pastor always asks for prayer requests and lo and behold who raises her hand like a shot? My Cass and wouldn't you know it she was two rows in front of me out of reach and she PRETENDED to be out of earshot, too!

The pastor might have thought he was going to skim over her, but not my Cass! When he failed to acknowledge her raised hand, she called his name! OH LAWD!!! Right in the middle of church. I suppose he felt he had no choice but to call on her and he did so. She rang out clear as a bell that she wanted prayer for her daddy because he was acting UGLY! This child whom even I have trouble understanding at times spoke without so much as a lisp when telling off on one of her parents! Ouch!

Who am I to argue with success? When we got home he had calmed down and was darn near apologetic! Thank you Jesus!



Hubby and I went shopping Sunday in search of some jeans for him. For some reason he thinks that the jeans at Goody's are the best. I wasn't enthusiastic about going there because I just don't care for their lines of lady's clothing. Since I was there anyway I thought I'd take a look at their baby clothing.

The only thing that caught my eye was some pink camouflage pants with matching pink or green tops that were colorful and cute. The price was good and the fabric seemed sturdy and I almost picked a pair of pants and a top up to buy. Then it struck me that we are neither a military family nor do we hunt. It almost seemed that I would be sending an incorrect message about who we were by buying the camouflage clothes for the baby.

I see camouflage strollers for boys and girls, camouflage diaper bags for dads and camouflage baby bedding and nursery themes. Are hunters and soldiers children the only customers for these baby items or are they considered the same as any print and to be enjoyed by anybody? I mean we wear duck and kitty cat prints and we don't own either as a pet. So is camo print the same thing? Just a pattern with no meaning? I certainly would love to hear some thoughts and comments on this one!

Do people think kids wearing camo are affiliated with a hunting camp or a branch of the military or just wearing trendy clothes for fall?


What do brown ticks and babies have to do with fashion? Well, not very much but this baby story deserves to be blogged because it was so cute that I wanted to share it with our visitors. Sometimes real life stuff trumps new fall designer clothes for babies.

The children were playing in the front yard yesterday and once when the ball the were playing with bounced into a wooded area, the older of the girls ventured into the brush to fetch it. She was the hero of the afternoon's activities. Even the toddler recognized bravery and her act of self sacrifice was rewarded with cheers and enthusiastic applause. As the adult in charge, I saw the relief on the hero's face that she made it in and out of the underbrush with no injuries, snake bites or other mishaps. At least that's the way it seemed at the time.

That night the order was administered for all to ready for bathtime as per the normal routine. I was finishing up the dishes when our two year old came toddling
into the kitchen lisping that Ninny Bayuh (Lyndy Beth) has a "ticket". I was mildly inquisitive but nothing alarming about a "ticket" right? I remembered there was a pre-school "circus" coming up so I thought teacher had passed some free tickets to the kids. So, on I go putting up plates and cups.

This went on a few more minutes and I saw that the little one was looking at me with that "What kind of mother are you?" look on her face. I gave pause and said, "Wow! Sissy has a ticket! That's so nice!" Now things began to get serious as her little face crumpled and she told me that I was just MEAN!

Confused as I was I followed her down the hall directing her to get ready for her bath! She cut left into the bathroom and I considered cutting a hard right into the nursery to pick up a few clothes while they were entertained in their baths. I don't know why, but my eyes veered to the left behind little one and I saw Lyndy inspecting her tummy while perched on the side of the tub.

I headed over to see what was so fascinating about her belly button and found that she had not come through her heroic moment unscathed. Yes, you guessed it; a nasty engorged blood sucker was fastened to my brave little girl's stomach. ICK!!! She was not nearly as upset as I was at this time, but when I fished the tweezers out of the drawer and told her I'd have to pull it out she wasn't very pleased to say the least.

So, that's the connection between brown deer ticks, babies and a circus. Ok, so now tell me about YOUR day!



Clothes with a big grinning monkey printed or embroidered on them are all over the place this fall. I can remember my mom making me sock monkeys as a kid. She said everybody had one when she was coming up. I can remember one mean little kid making fun of mine and I hid it behind the toybox so mom wouldn't notice that I didn't play with it anymore.
I'm sure she notice, but didn't say a word. I wonder what my little ones hide from me now so that "I" won't get my feelings hurt. I wonder if small children will ever appreciate the time we take to do special things for them? As I sit here and type, I realize that mean little girl was probably jealous. I should've told her to sit on a tack.



I saw some pictures of a cute leopard print baby sleeper that I might get Cass for fall. I could pin on a tail and voila instant Halloween costume! There's never been a lot of stuff out there in wild animal prints for babies that I like, but what goodies I'm finding right now in leopard and cheetah patterns are pretty cool!

I even found a baby carrier in leopard. I don't care how cute the carrier is, it's gotta be comfy! Cute don't get it when it comes to carrying a heavy baby!


The Jean Debate at My House

I adore my designer jeans although to be honest, there are days that they don't seem to fit the same as they did on the day that I found them on sale. (wonder why?) Anybody else have this issue? I could care less as the day you get a discount on these cool jeans is a red letter day and I'm thankful for each and every moment of the days they fit my tush nicely because these jeans are so cool!

Anyway, am I wrong to think that my rear deserves expensive designer blue jeans but not my girls? I really don't want my sweet little baby girl to be "hot", I don't even want to consider her lukewarm at the moment. Did I mention that these jeans are pricey as heck? Yep, they are in the $200.00 range or thereabouts,(I paid less than that for my Johnny jeans!) Matching mommy and baby girl jeans might be cute but not at that price.



Somehow I've never made the following connection:
Child and shoes and Polo or Ralph Lauren, have you? I suppose I was just out in the ozone because some of the most popular baby clothes out there are sporting the pony logo. For those of you just tuning in that would be the logo featuring a polo player with mallet (is that what it's called?) lifted high with an even higher price tag.

It's my motto that baby girls are only baby girls for a very short while and that i want to dress them as cute as can be, but how we can afford some of this stuff in the stores? Grief! I seem to be obsessing about clothing prices lately and I even promote some of the stuff on another site, but things really seem to be getting out of hand in kids clothes. Then again, my clothes don't seem to be as expensive as they once seemed. Is that just me justifying getting a new outfit?