Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Be Good to Your Server: She Could Have Been Me

Working at night is not for the faint of heart. It's heartbreaking to miss bedtimes, homework, and football practices.

For two years, I watched my baby all day, and when my big kids came home from school, I had to put on the apron and rush out the door to my waitress job.   Sometimes my kids would be mid-story about their day and I would have to leave to clock in before my shift.   I did well for myself in food service, taking home enough money to cover my daughter's expensive competitive gymnastics bills and then some. We have four kids, but I didn't want to say no to my daughter's love of gymnastics; this was the first sport she loved, and she was also good enough to compete.
Balancing work and home life was a challenge, though. I had a hard time finding rides for my kids who had to go to practice, and I had to try and switch shifts when my husband couldn't be home to watch them. I felt like there was hardly ever a night that it was easy to leave home and get to work.

One night, on my way into work, my husband called to tell me that our son's turtle died. I cried all the way to work because I couldn't be there to comfort my little guy.

I was never happy to leave their tiny faces. It always weighed on me as I drove away.

While I would have loved to been able to take paid sick leave on those inevitable days that I really needed it, or vacation time, waitresses and other food service workers don't have the option. If you don't work, you don't get paid. I needed to be paid to in turn pay for those gymnastics sessions, grocery bills, and new school clothes.

I was scheduled to work on my birthday one year, which was also, more importantly, the night of my son's first game as starting quarterback. I asked every other server in the restaurant to cover for me, and no one could, or would. I was heartbroken. Thankfully, the manager of our other restaurant sent a server to cover me. I was blown away by her kindness, and still remember the relief I felt when I knew that I wouldn't have to miss such a big moment in my son's life.

And my little gymnast? She often cried when I would set up carpools to and from practice. She wanted my husband or me to take her, and didn't like riding with other girls she didn't know well. I had to explain over and over again that we had no choice. This was the only way to get her where she needed to go when she needed to be there, while I was working to make gymnastics possible for her at all.

Since moving to Pennsylvania, I've been able to stay home with my kids. It's been wonderful, and I'm beyond thankful to be home every night with my babies. But I talk of my time waitressing with pride, because it's not easy waiting on hungry people. I knew this already from being a mommy.

My waitressing experience stays with me: I will forever be a good tipper, and a patient customer, because I know how tough it is to carry hot plates, tolerate rude customers, and balance a difficult schedule with few benefits. I hope you, as well, are good to your server, because after all, she could have been me.

This post is part of BlogHer's Women @ Work editorial series, made possible by AFL-CIO.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Four (and other matters)

Today, my "baby" is four. F-O-U-R.  This is very hard to believe because I can't barely remember the past four years, yet they must have happened.

Because here she is, not a baby anymore.  Not really toddler either.  She is a "little kid."  This news would shock me if I wasn't the one in charge of birthday party planning and present buying.

I remember taking this picture of my baby when she was two weeks old.  I swear at least a dozen eggs fell from my ovaries looking at this photo.  My goodness I could reach through my computer screen and pick her up.
Look at those tiny bird legs.  She was such a peanut, and in my brain she will always look just like this.

In honor of my Moopa's 4th birthday, I'll list every adjective possible I can think of that describes her.  This should be fun:

Kind.  Caring.  Kooky.  Gorgeous.  Sweet.  Impatient.  Quiet.  Easygoing.  Magical.  Minnie-Mouse-Lover.  Puzzle-solver.  Happy.  Helpful.  Imaginative.  Creative.  Artistic.  Loving.  Irresistible.

I'm fresh out of suitable adjectives, but only because it's Monday.  Brain is still at the Minnie Mouse party Saturday night.

On another note, I had to miss the BlogHer conference in Chicago this weekend.  In case you're also still living Saturday night's activities, BlogHer conferences are for women who blog.  They are big, and every blogger who is anyone is there.  There is swag, priceless advice and information, sponsors and awesome-ness at every turn.

I want to go to one of these VERY badly, but life just never seems to give me the window.  Or maybe I just never think hard enough about myself and places I'd like to go that require planning.  Either way, I am forewarning Hubby, that from now on I am forcing open the window.  This mama deserves it, and he'll be setting aside some vacation time for me to attend next year's conference.

There is no other way. 

For now, I'll have to read about the conference on other people's blogs and pretend I was there.  Yes, I love to torture myself. 

The good news is we still have birthday fun to enjoy, which will help put out the flames!

Happy Monday!!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fresh Oil and Chips

I've discovered another "first" living out here in God's Country.  It's called "Fresh Oil and Chips." 

Or, as I say, "Fish n' Chips."  I did wait tables in an Irish restaurant for over a year.  Some things just stick in the brain.

Lately, road crews have been out and about in our very small town.  Isn't that always one of the joys of summer?  I saw this sign earlier in the week, and I was baffled.  I read it and thought, What the heck?  What is that? 
I looked around at the time and there were no road crews so I figured these signs didn't pertain to me.  Maybe they were for farmers, since they are back and forth on my road all day.  The important thing is that I decided I didn't need to worry about these big, orange signs all over the road.

As it turns out, I was wrong.
This reality hit me square in the face when on Wednesday, I left my house at 2:20pm to pick up my boys and two friends from football camp. I turned the bend on my street and there were the "Fish n' Chips" men in the road.  Just standing there, with all their trucks, blocking the road completely.  They looked at me, in my mommy-van, and one guy nonchalantly held up a hand for me to "stop."

Then, they just stood there talking.  And I'm sitting stewing in my van like, "Hello!"

While I love the laid back vibe country livin' has, there is something very "New York" about me when I'm driving.

It's called "Get OUT of the WAY!"

A few minutes went by as these guys caught up on whatever was going in in their lives, and finally, one of them moved a truck and they flagged me by, onto a road I didn't want to drive on.

But I went.

And this detour took me through many farms and unmarked roads to a stop sign that luckily, I recognized.  These road guys are forgetting that some people, like me, are new in town.

The crews are still working on all the roads surrounding my house, laying this tar and dropping "chips" over it.  Apparently, when we all drive on this concoction it presses down and preserves the road.  Or makes more road.  All I know is it does something and it smells pretty bad. 

Happy Friday.  My advice to everyone who has any "New York" in them?  Leave early. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013


When you're three, you get to experience many new things.  All things considered, my littlest rode her first "roller coaster" at the fair last week. 

It was exhilarating.

She asked to "do whit again!"

And once again I was reminded how exciting life can be when you look through the eyes of a toddler.
Live it up, and enjoy your Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

On Raising Kids

I'm pretty sure I've blogged about this before, but I'm being honest when I say I don't keep track of what my mommy-brain has done most days.

Raising kids is hard work.  I've realized that I invest more in them than I do in myself, times 4.  I worry about them, reprimand them, try my best to make them happy and keep them safe.  They all need food, clothes and shoes.  I make a concentrated effort to instill manners and an appreciation for even the little things, because I don't want them to take good deeds and good people for granted.

And obviously they are beginning to have their own social calendars which is another thing to juggle...

I think I'm a professional juggler.

My poor Hubby has to deal with my stress, attitude problems and irrational worries on a daily basis.  But before you feel too sorry for him I'll let you know he can be just as much of a nuance. 

But I do love him dearly.

I remember having my first baby, and staring at him in awe every minute of the day.  He was mine.  So perfect and small and precious.  But as the days went on, he started to do more and need more, and it got a little harder.

And then he started to move and crawl and it got harder.

And then he started to eat things like coins and carpet fibers and it got even harder.

Today, I have four kids and they all have ideas and opinions and mood swings.  And it's freakin' HARD.

But even though raising kids is hard work, and every parent has their own style, anything worth doing is worth doing well.  Don't let the "hard" be all you see when your kids are involved.  Be present.  Be available.  We all make mistakes, but when your kid is looking for someone to talk to you want that person to be YOU.

For as long as possible.

I remember reading an article about being married, and the article said that you should watch what you say about your spouse, because some people only know your spouse through you.

You wouldn't want to highlight all the awful things without celebrating the good stuff.

This is the same with our babies.  It's so easy to complain about them and vocalize how crazy they make us.

Batshit crazy some days.  

But I need to remember to make that less of what I share with friends and acquaintances.  I need to be their biggest fan, their strongest ally.  They deserve to have one or two people (hopefully more) who are always happy to see them.  No matter what.

I'm not saying we should let them run the show, because that would be a disaster.  We all know kids need discipline and structure.  Most kids these days need more discipline and structure.  And I hate to say it but the reason they don't get it is because IT'S HARD WORK.

I know it is, I feel it too.

As parents, we need to let them work out what they can work out themselves.  But there will be times we need to be their voice, because they are KIDS.  They haven't quite figured out their world, and how to navigate it.  When you think of it, it's such a precious thing.  They are learning how to be an adult, and they need us to show them the way.

Truthfully, we're raising adults.  We're raising people who will be responsible for this society one day.

Be a good example.  Smile and be generous.  Show your kids how to love, and how to forgive.  Teach them structure and how to work hard.  Be gracious and patient, because they will learn more from watching you than from what you tell them.

Most importantly, love them, and make sure they know it.  I'll say it one more time, raising kids is hard work.  The only payday is watching them grow into who they are.  There is no trophy, no reward and no monetary bonus for a job well done.

You get your kids.  And for me, that's all that matters. 
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Monday, July 22, 2013

What's Your "Weekend Wear?"

BlogHer asked me to share this Almay-sponsored video series, 'Different Occasions. Different Looks. Always Pretty.'  In this video, Kate Bryan from The Small Things Blog shares her "weekend wear" tips. 

Usually my weekend look is as casual as possible, because my weekends involve time in the yard or going to ball games.  In the summer, it's the pool and the beach.

Being a stay-at-home mom means I'm pretty low key all the time when it comes to clothes, and that's just the way I like it.  But when I do get invited to a picnic or a party, it's nice to spruce up my look with some light makeup and hair.

And a clean shirt.

What do you put on when you've got somewhere to be on the weekends?  I love Kate's tips because they are easy and quick, and attainable for every woman.  No expensive makeup or hairstylist needed.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Fair

Over the weekend, we treated the kids to the County Fair.  It was very "Charlotte's Web-ish."  The animals were abundant, the food was delicious and the music was country.

It was perfect.
My munchkins, who have never seen an animal auction or rode a Ferris Wheel, enjoyed themselves tremendously.  We spent quite a bit of time over at the auction, watching the pigs trot into the ring and listening to the auctioneer.  We walked through the pens and looked at the livestock, and I made sure to point out the animals with ribbons proudly displayed on their pen.

Again, it was very Charlotte's Web.
Along with loving the rides, food and games, my munchkins insisted they needed a pet pig.  Or a baby goat.  They begged and pleaded and swore they would care for the animal. 

You will pick up the poop?


You will feed this animal?


You really want a goat in our yard?


You know how bad they smell?


Well, the answer is still NO.

(Collective sighs, moans and just plain disappointment.)

The good news is, we did take home a goldfish.  No fair is complete without winning a goldfish, and miraculously, ours is still alive two days later.

It may not be a pig, or a goat, but it's a new pet.  And it was enough to placate the munchkins.
Happy Sunday.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Race

I've mentioned my family runs in a five mile race every year.  Sometimes there are many of us, sometimes just a handful, but every year you can find tie-dyed Team Kahuna shirts at the start line.

In case you were wondering, for years my dad was affectionately known as the "Big Kahuna."  He decided to put teams together for certain races, and we became known as "Team Kahuna."  I need to stipulate that we were never serious racers, it was always for sh*ts and giggles.  Every race meant a kooky bright shirt with a jingle on the back and a cooler of um, "beverages" at the finish line.

There was a triathlon we used to run every year, and for a few years we had so many members of Team Kahuna the race officials designated a wave (start time) called "Clydesdales."  I guess we were getting in the way of the serious triathletes every year and there may or may not have been some complaints.

But hey, we were out there.  And yes, some of the team was made up of large men who did swim rather slow.  But they were swimming, and that's all that matters.

Over the years our team has evolved to just our family, and in our family we now have some more serious runners and our standard "back of the bus" crew who takes it slow.  The one race we always enter is the five mile oceanfront one at the Jersey Shore.  My parents live nearby, and it's an annual tradition for as many of us as possible to go down for the weekend and participate.

Two years ago, my oldest two munchkins joined the slow-going crew, and I was so excited to have them on the course.  We designated family members to run with each one, and while there may have been whines on the course, all was forgotten once they crossed that finish line.

This year, my third munchkin, known to my blog readers as LLG, joined the crew.  He is just seven, but he has an energy about him that can light a room.  I knew it would be a long race with his tiny legs, but I also knew he would love to accomplish running five miles.

And I was right.

My dad and I ran alongside him, alternating walking and running and occasionally pulling him out of sprinklers along the course to remind him we are technically in a "race."  There were times we were going so slow I was able to Facebook while we ran.

I do wonder what my time would be if I actually was able to run like I normally would, but I don't wonder enough to miss out on this.
My dear sister-in-law ran with the Gymnastics Queen, and my now twelve year old son went out on his own.


No one broke any records, but we all finished with huge smiles and many many cheers.  We also proved once again that we may not be fast, but we are faster than everyone on the couch.  All it takes is desire and determination, and you can accomplish your goals.  The hardest part is getting started.  After that first mile, it was all downhill. 

Isn't that true with all things?

Our next race is in August, and I'm proud to say that all of my little runners are game to run again.  And my older two have even made running goals.  My dad, the "Big Kahuna" has also vowed to keep up with the running after feeling like he was hit by a Mack Truck the morning after this race.

Like I said, the hardest part is getting started.  And we, my friends, have officially started.
Now get going on whatever it is that you have been waiting to do...I promise you it's possible!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It Just Happened.

My parents live at the Jersey Shore and over the weekend, we ran a five mile race near their house.  More on this in another post, I just was setting the scene for what transpires.

Which isn't much.

We left for the beach Friday morning, and the race was Saturday morning.  On Sunday, the plan was for Hubby to leave for NYC for work.  I was planning on staying with my four munchkins until today, enjoying warm sunshine, the smell of the ocean and plenty of ice cream.  In my mind it was a mini-vacation, a few more days away from reality before football practice and gymnastics sessions get all crazy on us.

In the days leading up to race weekend, we discussed our oldest visiting friends in New York State while Hubby was in NYC.  Hubby could drop him off with our friends in NY, and go on to the city.  On his way back a few days later, he would detour and pick him up. 

A few days before we left for the beach, one of my good friends from NY texted me.  Her son told her my son was visiting, and she wondered if my Gymnastics Queen could join and stay with them?  Her daughter was my daughter's BFF in NY.

I'm sure you all speak "girl."  Best Friend Forever.

Naturally, there was no way I could send my oldest two, and not my third who also misses his friends.  I called my old neighbors, and they were thrilled to host him.

I suddenly went from mini-vacation with my munchkins to mini-vacation with a munchkin.  Part of me was excited for the quiet, part of me was disappointed.  I am not a fan of being separated from my kids.

After they all departed Sunday, I relaxed.  I went for a run.  My little one loves puzzles and cartoons, and I was happy to oblige.  We went for dinner with my parents.  We ate ice cream.  I took her to the Dollar Store and bought her another puzzle.

Life was all about my baby and she was loving it.

On Monday, I slept in.  I didn't move until 8:45am.  It was glorious.  I took my baby to the beach, and then we had lunch.  After lunch, I put on Disney Junior and a movie was just starting.  Two words:

Home Run.

Once I had my Moopa settled in for movie, I lay back on the large cushioned sofa chair.  And then something happened.

I didn't move for hours.

It was as if I hadn't sat uninterrupted in years.  I literally, just lay there, in and out of consciousness.  You know how when you're sleeping but kind of awake?  Like you can hear everything around you but you're not at all involved?

That was me.

All afternoon.

Whenever Moopa would make a request, I would wave her away and mumble "give mama a few minutes..."  I think I did once, get up and get her graham crackers.

I can't be sure.

I guess it was overdue, and I decided to not feel guilty and not feel like I had to do anything other than rest.

Sometimes, you just need it.  And I guess I did.

Today it's back to the grind, with all four munchkins in full swing.  I am alert and awake, and still unshowered after pulling weeds in the yard.  The oldest ones enjoyed seeing friends, and we are officially home until further notice.

Hope you're all staying cool.  It's a steamer over here.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Disney's Planes: Flyin' High

Disney is coming out with a new animated feature film this summer, Planes.  When my oldest was about five, Cars was the big thing.  We bought the DVD at the airport the day it hit the shelves to watch on the plane to Disney World.

We're big Disney people.

Planes takes Cars to new levels, literally.  Instead of racing on racetracks these personalities are going at it Top Gun style.  The film stars Dane Cook as Dusty, a small single propeller crop dusting plane who dreams of bigger and better things outside of Propwash Junction.  Determined to achieve his dreams, he enlists in a Wings Around the Globe Rally to compete against some of the world's greatest planes.

Dusty has just one problem, he is petrified of heights.

Luckily for Dusty, he has a few great friends by his side to help him along.  With the help of his buddies Chug, Leadbottom, Dottie and Skipper Riley, Dusty works towards achieving his goal of becoming a flying superstar.

As a parent, I love the messages this film conveys.  Raising four kids is no easy feat, and I have seen my kids through big dreams and tough realities.  I particularly love the character Dottie, a forklift mechanic who always tells Dusty the truth.  She gives him tough love, but is there to help Dusty achieve his goals.

I do my best to tell my kids the truth about how difficult some of their dreams are to achieve, but motivate them to never give up.  They need to understand the work involved and have the desire to stick with it, no matter how tough it is.  Just because something is difficult doesn't make it impossible.  There are days I feel like I am constantly fixing small problems and lifting them up to keep going, just like Dusty's forklift mechanic pal Dottie.

To add to the excitement of Planes, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards joined the film to voice two of the fighter jets.  This film is all about dreaming big, just like Maverick and Goose did in Top Gun.  

Disney Planes hits the theaters August 9th, and kids will love the big personalities and the planes featured in the film.  Parents are sure to love the messages in the movie about hard work and dreaming big.  Every parent tries to encourage their kids to succeed, and we all have a different style.  Just like all of Dusty's pals in Planes.

To learn more, visit Planes on Facebook and Twitter. Now for a chance to win a $100 gift card, leave a comment and tell me: "How do you challenge your children to follow their dreams?"

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Thursday, July 11, 2013


Today, after five weeks in a cast, my little guy saw his forearm again.
It was skinny, strange looking and it smelled like the worst feet you could ever imagine.  He also had a nasty rash, courtesy of the mold all over his skin.  Which was courtesy of the damp cotton under the cast from a malfunctioning cast cover.

All I can say is, we tried.  But it's hard to keep this seven year old down.  And dry.

Despite being very cautious about moving his wrist and actually using it, he was very excited to be able to jump into a pool without a cast cover.

I was as well, since I'm the one who has to put on the cast cover.

For us, summer unofficially started five weeks ago, and today is the first day my little guy will be enjoying sans cast.

Pretty fabulous. 


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Little Couple

Summer television is nothing to rave about.  All the shows I watch on a regular basis go bye-bye and just about nothing that excites me says hello.

This usually isn't a bother because we are out later, enjoying the warm summer evenings and breaking all kinds of bedtime rules.  I never settle into bed until after 10pm, and once I'm in my bed the only thing I am watching is the back of my eyelids as I sleep.

This is because I am exhausted and Hubby is usually watching something along the lines of "Finding Bigfoot."


I have, in the past few weeks, discovered The Little Couple on TLC.  They are adorable and endearing and just about the sweetest tiny people on the planet.  I'm officially hooked, following their adventure as they adopt their son from China.  I know this show is hardly new, and in case you're wondering I'm always late to the party.

I even saw them filming in Disney World once.  A small entourage with cameras walked by us one morning in the Animal Kingdom, and I caught a glimpse of them from behind.

I thought, No way. Was that those tiny people from TLC?

The next month, back at home and chillin in my pajamas, I saw a preview on TLC for the Little Couple, in Disney World.

I'll be darned.

The good news is that I have dozens of episodes to watch because I'm a new fan.  This is similar to another "late to the party" incident, which is when I discovered Twilight books.  I read the first book after the first movie came out in theaters. 

I never had to wait for the next book to appear on the shelves, I bought all four within weeks of eachother.

I'm wondering what you watch in the summer, if anything at all.  My DVR is overloaded with corny movies and ESPN clips, but nothing other than The Little Couple for me.

And they are super cute.  Totally entertaining, feel good TV.  Love it.

P.S.  If you can believe it, The Little Couple, and TLC, have no clue who I am.  Just wanted to share!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


It's been awhile.  I haven't posted in about four days, and truthfully, life has been calm.

We finished up our beach trip, visited family and we are home in Pennsylvania.  I'm listening to my boys play Minecraft, which definitely means we are home sweet home.

What is the deal with that game anyway?

Upon our arrival back home, our upstairs was a cozy 87 degrees.  I don't think the window units and fans cooled it below 80 all evening.  I did sleep just fine though, waking in the same position I fell asleep.  This is impressive, considering I usually use the facilities at least once an evening and I struggle with perfect pillow placement when dozing off.

Not last night.  I didn't even have my preferred pillow under my head when I woke up.

This morning I pulled weeds in steaming hot, sweltering sun.  The weather wasn't ideal for yard work, but I have trouble ignoring the yard when it reaches jungle status.  I also sweated off a few ice cream cones from the beach.

The upside to going away is enjoying time away from weeds and cleaning.

The downside to going away is coming home to an abundance of weeds and cleaning.  And mail.

But the vacation was fabulous, and we officially back to the grind.  Tomorrow, it's all about dishwasher repair and getting these kids back in camp.

Mama needs a breather and these munchkins need to see some pals.

Happy almost Monday.  Have a good one!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I'm feeling the need to post something some would consider controversial. I don't know why God or heaven or religion has become such a sore spot for some, since everyone is free to believe what they wish.  I'm not attacking anyone with this post, I'm not saying what I believe is right and true is better than what anyone else believes.

I just believe it, and I teach my kids what I believe because I hope it helps them navigate their way through this unpredictable, often scary life.

This isn't heaven.

A few days ago, a very dear member of our community was killed suddenly in a car accident.  Our town is small, and he is a father, a son, a brother, a husband, a friend and a coach.  He has four young children, and most of them are the same ages as my four kids.

I just sat with his wife at a camp event last week.  She was taking pictures of all the girls, making sure to capture moments for parents who couldn't be there.

When I heard her husband was killed, my heart twisted and my stomach ached.  I couldn't believe this family was experiencing the worst day of their lives.  These kids were hearing words they never imagined possible, this mother was suffering for herself and probably even more for her kids.

How does this happen?  I've heard so many people in my life question how God could "let" certain things happen.  While I don't have all the answers, I know what I believe and what helps me through.

This isn't heaven.  I say this with love and faith.  God doesn't let these things happen and God never promised this life would be easy.  There is sin.  There is bad.  God's heart is broken too, and He will comfort.  This life is a struggle but hopefully, if we get there, our life with Him in heaven will be easy.

We won't experience pain and we won't feel sadness.

But here on Earth, where sin is everywhere and people turn away from God, we will experience pain.  And we have to hold each other and have faith that with time, we will heal.  Most importantly, we need to focus on the many blessings in our lives.  And we need to believe that God does have a plan, and it is bigger than any of us.

He isn't to blame when things go wrong, or when pain shows up at the door.  But He can comfort like no one else.

After this terrible tragedy, I'm reminded that there is beauty all around me and I need to look around and drink it in.  And I believe there is a better place than this.

I have to believe it, because this isn't heaven.

Today and for the next several months I'll be praying for this family in my town.  I'll be doing what I can to help, along with everyone else in our small, tight-knit community.  I'll also be trying my hardest to enjoy every minute, because this was a harsh reminder that life is most definitely short.

Happy trails, hug your friends and family.

Feel free to kindly share what gets you through tough times.  I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Healthier Car Ride for my Kids

A few weeks ago, my younger son was having trouble with itchy eyes.  At first I thought it was Pink Eye, and I started him on eye-drops to take away the redness.  A few days later, we saw no improvements.  As a matter of fact, his face was puffy and his eyes were getting worse. 

The school called and thought he might have allergies.  The next day he woke up with his eyes swollen shut, and we knew he was struggling with something.  We went to the pediatrician and she confirmed he was suffering from fairly severe allergies.

We started him on a daily medication, but we will have to wait to see what is causing the trouble.  Getting an appointment with a specialist is about as fun as sticking needles in my eyes.  But living in Pennsylvania, we're near plenty of farms and animals we've never been near before.  I'm fairly certain he is going to struggle every spring with whatever he is allergic to.  

Along with allergy medicine, we installed a FRAM Fresh Breeze® cabin air filter to keep the air inside our car fresher for our kids.  I never knew that the air inside my car is up to 6x dirtier than the air outside.  We are constantly in the car, and to think of that dirty air circulating gives me a headache. 

Since installing the FRAM® cabin air filter, the car is fresher and I'm reassured that it is removing up to 98% of dust, dirt and allergens.  I know I'm making every ride in the car a healthier one for my kids, and my little allergy sufferer will be suffering less.  The Fresh Breeze cabin air filter even has baking soda to remove odors, which is a huge bonus when you have kids constantly in and out of the car.

Have you ever smelled a twelve year old's baseball cleats?  Or a gymnast's duffle?  Disgusto.

The FRAM Fresh Breeze cabin air filter is super easy to install, and the step by step installation guides are tailored to different makes and models.  Trust me when I say if we could get an air filter installed, anyone can.  It took us a few minutes using the installation guide, and now we're loving the fresh air inside the mommy-van.  We're riding, and resting happily.

FRAM Fresh Breeze cabin air filters may be purchased online at or at your local Walmart, O’Reilly Auto Parts, or Meijer.  To learn more I recommend that you follow FRAM Fresh Breeze on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to Download a $3 rebate and save on your FRAM Fresh Breeze cabin air filter!

And now, for the fun stuff!   To win a $100 Visa gift card, comment below and tell us what you do to keep the air in your car and home healthy and fresh for you and your family!


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

"b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the 

following unique term in your tweet message: ""#SweepstakesEntry""; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post"

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/1/2013 - 7/31/2013

Be sure to visit the FRAM brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mamas, You've Gotta Try This

I'm busy.  I have four kids, and I run around for much of my day.  This is very old news for anyone who reads my blog.

Every so often I find something, or I'm offered to try something through BlogHer, that I LOVE.  This something usually makes my life easier in some way and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  Most recently, I discovered new Vaseline® Spray & Go Moisturizer Total Moisture®.

It's fabulously fabulous.

I get up at 6:15 weekday mornings to run, and when I get home I spend the next hour getting the munchkins off to school.  I have limited time to shower and get dressed, and there are days I have to skip simple stuff like moisturizing. 

Who has time to push the pump, rub the cream all over their skin, and wait for it to absorb before dressing?  It seems silly, but it really does feel like a long process when I'm in a hurry.  Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer Total Moisture makes moisturizing a breeze.  I spray, rub and dress.

It's a cinch.  Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer absorbs in ten seconds or less, with a few quick rubs after applying it.  It's not greasy, and it leaves my skin soft.  I tend to have very dry skin, especially in the winter and after a day at the beach.  I definitely suffer when I start to skimp, or even worse skip, moisturizing after every shower.   Even better, I love how this moisturizer contains pure oat extract in its formula, which leaves my skin feeling healthy and young.

Ah, youth.

I compare my love for this spray-on moisturizer to my love for spray-on sunscreen.  Rubbing SPF 50 all over my munchkins, as they squirmed and whined, was a serious task.  When I discovered spray-on sunscreen my blood pressure did a jig.  My summer mornings went from "Stand still and stop complaining! I'm almost done! You're driving me crazy!  This will only take a few minutes!" to "Stand still and close your eyes."

Easy. Simple. Quick.  Sunscreen application went from taking a few (stressful) minutes to a minute for each kid.

Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer Total Moisture has brought that simplicity to me.  No more waiting to dress, no more skipping moisturizer, and no more dry skin. I do the jig every morning, spraying my skin soft and getting on with my day.  I love this moisturizer so much it has earned a very special, very sacred place next to my hairdryer.  

Now that means something.

To learn more just visit their Facebook page.

For a chance to win a $1,000 SpaFinder gift card, leave a comment and tell us:

How would Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer Total Moisture max your morning?


Entries will be pooled from participating blogs and one winner chosen.


Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.


The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/1/13 - 7/31/13.

Be sure to visit the Vaseline® Spray & Go page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!