Holiday pic

Holiday pic

Friday, August 31, 2012

Boys Book Club

Do you have a boy who doesn't like to read??  Do you have a hard time getting them to settle down and take in a new experience through reading???  I totally have one and am always trying to figure out how to get him motivated to pick up a book and read.  I am an avid reader and just can't understand why you wouldn't want to get lost in a book...but, as we all know, we are all different people:)

Working in a library (in the children's section) does have it's advantages.  I get to see what's out there and can bring home different kinds of books to try out with him.  Some were failures and some were successes!! My favorite all time series for boys around the 2nd or 3rd grade level is the Stink Series.  Stink is the little brother of Judy Moody.  He even has his own web-site:
Stink Website

Very cool books.  AND...he read them no problem.  He would even read them on his own.  He liked them so much, he saved up his points at the library reading program this summer and bought the first 5 books before he spent the rest of his points on junk!!

Last summer, trying to keep him going with his reading, I started a Boys Book Club and invited a few of his friends to read along and meet to discuss.  Last summer was a BIG hit!!  The boys read 3 of the books during the summer and they got to get together, do something fun and discuss.  Really exciting to see them excited!!  There were only 3 of them...but that meant each mom took a turn with each book.  We each did a craft and led the discussion and served snacks.
This summer, we were all a little bit busier and it was going to be tough getting them together again.  BUT, we did it in July for the latest installment of Stink's adventures and they had a blast (can you tell it was a zombie theme).. forward to the choosing of the next book and our 2nd and final Book Club Meeting of the summer...  Not so successful.  Stink had run his course and the boys had pretty much read them all.  Hmmmmmmmmm....... what to have them read next??  No clue...  But, 2 of the boys picked up Mr. Poppers Penguins while at a library program (and, it's a little bit harder) and we decided to do that book.  Ummm, yeah... that was a difficult book to get through with my son.  Really, really, really, really...etc... difficult.  But, he got through it and even squeaked out a summer book report on it.  Whew...

Book Club was all set to happen...BUT...turns out it wasn't in the cards.  One of his friends is just finishing up a virus and would not have been able to make it while the other one had trouble getting through the book as well.  So...Book Club was cancelled.  This summer, Boys Book Club was not as successful as last year.  Glad they were able to get together once this summer though... they always have fun!!

With the summer coming to an end (school starts next week), there would not have been enough time to pick a new one and go with it.

Since DJ managed to actually make it through the book (with a lot of help from hubby reading to him and DJ reading back), I felt like I should try to do something for's so hard to get him to do these things and I want to reward him for it... Oh, 'what to do' I kept thinking to myself.  Aha... take the movie out so he can watch it with Daddy...  after the babies go to bed.  BUT...he was pretty disappointed that his buddies wouldn't be coming.  You see, the original plan was pizza, movie and possible sleep-over... that's what he was looking forward to.  Not that hanging with Daddy isn't fun...but... ya  know!!  And I know life is full of disappointment...but, like I said, this was a huge accomplishment for him.  So, we invited the Book Buddy that is not sick to still come over and watch the movie.. I hope it goes well and the movie is better than the book.  Usually the book is better than the movie, so if that's the case, these boys will not be sitting and watching

How do you get your boys to sit and read??  I know DJ will read weather books, world record (or any fact giving kinda book) books, sometimes planet books, etc.  Here are some websites with reading suggestions (funny, the first one has Mr. Poppers Penguins as

If you're up for it, you may also want to try the Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder Books (not sure if DJ is ready for these or I will ever be ready for's-Fart-Powder

Have a great day!!  And thanks for all of your continued support:)  If you haven't already voted today, please take a few moments to click on the link and vote for Honest Mommy!!  You guys have all be Awesome!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Clothing Cycle

It's that time of year again (seems like just yesterday we did this for spring/summer) where I go through all of my children's drawers, closet and any bins that could be holding larger clothes.  I really don't enjoy this task as it takes forever and let's just say it's hard to do with little ones running around destroying everything you're trying to

This time around, I think I got smart.  A little bit more work, but so far (and I've only gone through one child)  it worked great!!  I started with Kyra last night...WOW did she sprout up this year.  She zipped through those size 8's and is pretty much in a 10.  STOP GROWING!!!!

Kyra has been lucky in clothes so far.  There have always been bags and bags of hand-me downs for her so has never been in need of a lot.  Usually, I only have to supplement her with new undies, socks and undershirts.  She even gets bags of leotards which is HUGE b/c those things can get pricey.  I bought her a nude one last year to wear under her costumes...but other than that, I haven't  had to buy her one in 2 years.

Here is what we started with last night:
We separated everything into piles of similar  clothing (ie- pants, sweats, pj's, shirts, etc).  Following that, we picked a pile  and went through them.  I could tell,  for the most part, what was going to fit and what wasn't. Anything questionable she had to try it hardship for her:)  Not looking forward to that part with DJ

I put the keepers on 1 couch and the give aways on another.  Whew... that was FUN... and yes, it was a 2 glasses of wine kinda

Here is what she wound up with:
And here is the pile of give-aways...or you could say, passing it forward:)

Going through all of this stuff, I realize I could probably open my own consignment shop with my children's clothing alone..ha ha.  But, since we have been so lucky in receiving, I always like to pass it on to others that could use it.  Clothing is pretty expensive, ya know??

So, tonight we conquer DJ's stuff.  That kid doesn't grow much so am pretty sure most of it will still fit him.  I think I will just  be downsizing his stuff to make it  more manageable.  We have space issues in both of their rooms and it's hard to keep the older kids stuff for the little ones.  There is such  a big gap in their ages and I just don't  have the space to hang on to it all.  Jackets, snow boots, snow pants and  stuff are keepers but anything else pretty much won't  fit anywhere for 5 or 6 years.

What do you do with your kids clothing??  Do you have a system for organizing them and storing them??

Hope you all have a great day!!  Oh, and don't forget to  only 12 more days of voting..

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Family Vacation

Whew... we are back from our annual family vacation.  I always feel like parents need a vacation from the family it's great're still the parent!!

We had a great time this year...although, it was probably the rainiest weeks we've ever had down at the beach.  Good thing we brought school work for them to work on...LOL... just kidding...kinda...  Yes, they read some books and did some math during those times when you just need them to settle down and leave each other alone.  We also had some 'new' toys to whip out and a deck of cards.  DJ and Kyra learned how to play Black Jack this year..good for math skills:)

The worst part of our vacation is usually the drive down and the drive back home.  I always guess that it will take us 14 hours.  If it's less, than that's Awesome...any more and we are pretty much ready to kill each other. it takes less than 14 hours of being in the car to want to kill each other, but who's counting??  ha ha..

Was trying to think of what to write about this vacation and some driving tips... re-read my post from last year...

Funny how we were trying to sleep train Franny last year and we finally accomplished it about a week before we left this year...  AND ...  since I admitted to my husband that it was probably a little bit of my fault it never worked before, I will admit it to you all as well.  I think I just didn't want to let go yet knowing that she is the last one and I really did love sleeping with her:)  This year, she slept wonderfully in her pack and play every single night.  Some nights she was even asking to go Night Night!! And, she's back in her crib with no problems.  Yeah!!!

Things that were different from last year:
1. I was totally unprepared for being in the car... unfortunately, bronchitis kicked my ass the week before leaving and I was not thinking straight
2. Snacks were few and far between... needed to incorporate more of these this year.. so unprepared:(
3. We didn't do our 'links' to mark the time.  Totally wanted to get this done and really should've done it.. it worked out so well last year.
4. I didn't pack activities for them to do, but made them pack their bags of things to do.  I did, however, pack a 'snack' bag (with a few things in it) that included a white board for each kid to use during the trip.  Kyra played hangman on hers.  Max and DJ could really care less about theirs.
5. Apparently, their listening skills depreciated while on vacation this year...though, Kyra was excellent.  The boys, not so much!!
6. Seating arrangements need a lot of thought when there are 4 of them... had to switch them in both directions at some point  (here is one 'seating' arrangement)  think next year we will have to put one of us back there to play referee..ha ha

7. Kids didn't get to run through the water that spouts out of the ground b/c of the rain...missed getting those pics...but they did other stuff while we were at Broadway at the Beach (trampoline and darts)... even Max got to do both..he was soooooooo happy to be doing what the big kids were doing

8. Franny discovered that she could yell really really loud in the car...
9. I was lax in the Vacation Journal area this year and forgot to make them fill it out.  I know I will regret that b/c I always enjoy reading and re-reading them.  I even printed them out and made them fill out the title page before we left.  Just didn't have them fill it out while we were on me!!
10. Max was A LOT braver jumping in the pool this year... Franny walked right in on the first day before she realized she couldn't reach the bottom.  She walked around the pool and eventually would walk down the steps and/or jump in with you.  She is just a bit scary b/c she would run around the pool and come really close to the edge so we all had to keep an eye on her!!

I also want to put out the disclaimer that while NONE of my children pooped in the pool (yes, someone's kid did and they had to shock it and close it for 24 hours), Max felt it was ok to get out of the pool and pee on the wall.  Oh, and he tried to pee on a tree too... gotta get that fixed or he'll be peeing everywhere

All in all, our family vacation was a complete HIT with the kids.  And yes, Mommy tried lots of new drinks this week:)  My favorite was this one from TGIF's where you pour the martini over cotton candy..totally cool:

Here's a money saving tip:  buy those frozen drinks they are now selling for like 2 bucks and throw them in your freezer.  You can drink 4 of them for the price of 1 at the hotel bar!!

Now, if you've made it this far...thanks for reading.  Please also continue to vote if you 'like' my stuff:)  It's only 3 weeks of voting but you can vote every day.  Click on the Button to the right or just click on the link below and thanks in advance for voting!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Discipline on Vacation

Yeah...that's right, we've got to discipline while on vacation.  How much does that suck??  And how bad do I feel that I have to take some 'fun' away from them??  Well, it really does suck and I really do feel horrible for doing it.

BUT...unfortunately as a parent, I feel that my kids need to learn that just because we are not in our home environment, our rules are still in effect.  This week, there have been some minor infractions in which kids were put in a 'time-out' or separated from each other.  However, my eldest son really pushed my buttons the other night.  And, yes, I did take away some 'fun' for him.  Boy, was he not happy with me or with the situation.  And he really did think that it would blow over and he would be able to just go.  ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha... yeah, not so fast mister!!  He was rude and mouthy to my mother, myself and my husband.  And when I told him he would not be included in the evening activities, he retorted with his most recent response 'Yes I will' as though he were the boss and we weren't.  Yeah...I had to do something b/c that attitude has become more and more present these days!!

Well, that particular evening activity was Family Night at the water park.  And, yeah for us, it was cancelled. Yes...this week has not been a good weather week for us and the rains have come more frequently than in past years.  So, he thought he would be able to go the next night if it was re-scheduled.  Nope...don't think so either.

Anyway...we had sent hubby back to the room with DJ and Franny (she was really too little anyway but we would have made it work if we were all going) while the rest of us waited it out to see if the activity would actually occur. didn't.  Instead of going back to the room and admitting defeat (you know, the other 2 kids didn't do anything either??), we headed to the beach. got it.  There was no thunder or lightning so the kiddies ran around on the beach and in and out of the waves like wild children. my mom took them out to the beach and I watched out stuff while sitting in the bar having a drink...but they both came back happy and my momma came back soaked!!  Afterwards, we let them in the pool at the adjoining hotel to romp and play a bit before heading back.  Once we did make our way back to the hotel, DJ thought he was all that b/c nobody really went to the event.  Sooooooo....with my true mommy powers, I decided that we should get ice-cream to cap off our night.  The only ones not getting ice-cream would be DJ and Franny (she was already in bed).  Kyra and Max also got to pick out a small toy from the souvenir shop.  Hey, I had to really make sure he understood that he was missing some fun stuff here ok???

I just wish he would actually listen and understand.  Most days, I don't think he really hears what we are trying to tell him.  Very frustrating.  Hoping that his 'punishment' might have helped a little bit but I guess time will tell.  He really is an instigator and it can become a bit frustrating all around.  As always, I feel like I am always at a loss for what works with this child.  I love him with all my heart...but he really knows how to push buttons!!

Do you discipline your kids on vacation??  Do you make your kids 'earn' things while you're away??  (ie- good behavior = fun activities)   How do you deal with the 'talking back' from your kids??

Here's a bit of good news...I somehow was nominated to be in the running for the Top 25 Blogs of NY...pretty cool, right??  Feel free to vote for me and pass it on!!  Click on the Circle of Moms button to the right of my blog or on the link below to vote:)  You can vote everyday and I may shamelessly keep reminding

Peace Out and have a fabulous evening!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dance Mom...

OK, so, have you all heard about this show called Dance Moms??  We watch it religiously in our house (yes, I let Kyra watch it and she loves it).  But, oh, the drama involved in this show is ridiculous!!  Deliciously ridiculous!!

I love drama, a good reality show and throw in some dance and I'm hooked.  I really do love to watch these girls dance...I think they are ALL phenomenal dancers.  The moms, on the other hand, give us ALL a bad name.  Before this show, we all knew who these Moms were...  let me explain them in a few key points:

1. Will do anything to advance their child with disregard to any other child
2. Will gripe about anything and everything... especially if it does not benefit their child
3. Will gossip about everyone around them...including children (ie- did you hear so and so got 'demoted' to a lower class... or that girl just got yelled at my Mrs. X... or look at that one over there, my child is so much better than that one, why are they in that class and not my precious little SugarPlum, get the point??)
4. Snoops around to see what EVERY SINGLE child is up to at their dance studio
5. Listens in on EVERY conversation going on around them to see if they can get more info...
6. Starts a gossip train
7. Hovers around the dance office in the chance they might overhear some snippet of conversation that they could use against you
8. Constantly asking for your child to take an older/more advanced class even after the teacher tells you on more than 1 occasion NO you all know who these people are and, hey, maybe you are one??  But, I'd also like to point out that these Moms are not just in the dance world.  You know, the term Soccer Mom, right??  They started using that term around the year 1987... and while these Moms have probably been around for eons (think Mrs. Olsen on Little House), the Demographic Term finally came through...  There is an actual definition of Soccer Mom-

: a typically suburban mother who accompanies her children to their soccer games and is considered as part of a significant voting bloc or demographic group
[countUSinformal : a mother usually from the middle class who brings her children to soccer games and similar activities — often used to refer in a general way to such women as a group of people having similar interests, values, etc.

Now, I'm sure it won't take long for a definition of Dance Mom to pop up...but there isn't one

But, I did find a website that might be beneficial to all the 'Soccer Moms' who drive their kids to dance.. lol..

Because of this show, I really don't want to be considered a 'Dance Mom'... so keep me a Soccer Mom even though this year will definitely be a year of more dance classes over Soccer..

Because of this show, now we have a 'nice' term to call these Moms who we want to strangle (is that too harsh) and sometimes maybe just trip them as they walk by??  

Dance Moms...who knew such a nice thing could become a slang for the terror moms lying in wait at dance studios across the country??

I love that my children love to dance.  And I love when they excel at their own rates and are proud of themselves!!  And, I love that they WANT to do it (yes, even DJ loves it and would be disappointed if I took him out)  
I still owe you  my take on the recital process...but I might start crying as I'm a little weepy these days so I'll try again next week (I'm also trying to procure some old pics to include in it but can't find
DJ and Kyra in their first year of dance... AWWWWWWW!!!

Hope you are all having a lovely evening and enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


"If you start to doubt yourself, the real world will eat you alive"  ..a quote from Henry Rollins

This has always been one of my favorite sayings.. so much so, that I used to have it taped to my computer screen when I worked in the real world of offices and adults.  And, it really is sooooooo true.

Now, here's a little secret about ME that you might not know:  I am probably one of the most insecure person you may know.  Let's call me "The Closet Insecurity Broad"..ok??  Yes, it's true.  I second guess EVERYTHING I do.  Don't believe me, go ask hubby.  He fell for the 'Confident One' and soon realized it was really a facade for the real me.  I've come a LONG way since High School me.  In High School, I think people thought I was this bitchy, self-centered snob...but that, too, was a front.  I was really really really insecure about everything back then.

Now a days, it just creeps up on me every so often.  Don't we all doubt ourselves at some point in our lives??  Please tell me I'm not alone in this??  I don't know why I am that way...and I don't understand how others are so sure of themselves all the time (or what seems like all the time).

Going with this whole 'self-doubt' theme tonight, I am also very afraid of FAILURE.  I mean, who isn't, right??  Again, I am always second-guessing myself and what I'm doing and sometimes I just give up.  Why, because I don't want to fail.  Wow, how lame is that??  Seriously!!  I could slap myself silly sometimes!!

Did I also mention that I have a slight perfectionist  tick in me??  I try to keep this at bay, but sometimes I get really annoyed when things aren't done exactly as they should be.  I've also come A LONG way in this category.  For example, when hubby actually does the dishes for me, instead of telling him how he did it wrong (b/c it's only wrong in my head) I just fix it the next time I do we all have our own way of loading the dishwasher, right??  Right???

Now, become a MOM.

For the past (almost) 10 years, I have struggled to become a better person and be who I want my children to be.  And someone my children would be proud of.  And, yes, what a struggle it has been.  I question myself on a daily basis when it comes to motherhood.  It is the hardest thing in the world to do.  It also happens to be the most rewarding thing in the world.  I don't want my children to be 'un' confident about themselves.  I want them to believe in themselves and know that they are GREAT!!  I want them to go out there and try and try and try.  And if they should fail at something, I want them to know they are still Great and it's ok to fail!!  Because I know, that you cannot accomplish anything without trying.  And if they try and succeed, how Awesome is that!!  Right??

And so, I continue on this journey of life and motherhood knowing that I will make mistakes.  In friendship, I will make mistakes.  In marriage, I will make mistakes.  But, I also know that my children, true friends and hubby will keep me sane and focused to continue on and succeed!!

Conceive it.  Believe it.  Achieve it.

For Them!!
Have a great day!!  I will be attempting a new cookie design tomorrow for a great 'camp out' and a great friend's house!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yummy easy dinner... and a Franny Update

So, tonight we were in dinner limbo... you know those nights when some of you were eating somewhere else and the others were eating at home??  Hubby and I usually pull a steak out of the freezer for just the 2 of us and depending on what kids are eating, I feed them something quick and easy.  Franny and Max were home so I went with quesadillas... yeah, they both opened them up and scraped the cheese out and ate just that... lol...

OK, on with my meal...yes, a yummy meal that probably only cost about 8 bucks total:)  I do love a good deal on things don't you??  Well, I am notorious for scouring the meat section for those meats that have been 'marked' down.  This is how I buy those steaks, london broils, spare ribs, etc that are just a bit too expensive to justify purchasing.  Found a package of long, thin steaks (don't know the exact name of the type of meat, but they were really skinny) for about $3.50.  I also had a package of frozen spinach and cream cheese in the freezer (both bought on sale for roughly a buck each).  As a side, I used one of those Lipton Noodle packs which are about $1 when on sale... that brings my total to $6.50... now, this doesn't include the milk, butter, little bit of wine, half onion, and little bit of heavy cream... so, we can bring the total up to like 7.50 or 8.00...roughly:)
Here is the easiest, yummiest spinach thing I've ever made (creamed spinach... tasted really good on crackers too... hey, i was hungry and needed to taste test it before I rolled it into the beef)
Olive Oil
1/2 small onion, diced
Diced garlic (I have a jar in my fridge...yes, I cheat... of garlic and I used 4 pieces and diced it up)
Splash of white wine (yes, I gave up a few sips for this)
1/2 package of cream cheese
Splash of heavy cream (I always have this in my fridge...hey, I'm a baker...) but this is optional
1 package of frozen spinach- thawed and squeezed out
Parmesan cheese (I had approx. 2 Tbs left in my container so I just dumped it all in)

1. Heat olive oil in pan and sautee onions and garlic for appox. 3-5 minutes
2. Add wine
3. Add cream cheese and heavy cream is using
4. Add thawed spinach and heat until bubbly

Voila... creamed spinach... use right away on crackers or a nice Italian bread:)  Or, eat alone... Or, do as I do and spread over your beef, roll it up and secure with tooth picks.

I browned the rolls of beef (brain fart here... can't think of what it would be called) in some olive oil.  keep turning so that you brown on all sides.   Doesn't take long to cook through..keep rotation to brown evenly.

I'm not gonna tell you how to make a package of noodles...think you can all read those

It was really good...and I will be heating up the extra spinach stuff tomorrow and eating on crackers:)

Franny Update
So, the first night was tough b/c we didn't start out on the right foot...hence, she woke in the middle of the night (2:28am) and continued to cry until 8:00 when I had to get up.  I know, some of you might think this is cruel and unusual punishment... but for my own sanity, this is a necessary evil.  My heart breaks with every cry and I do want to run in there and scoop her up.  I love sleeping with her...BUT, she doesn't fall asleep on her own, nor does she fall asleep at a normal hour...hence, she screws with my 'night' time to settle down, finish dishes, start baking and/or decorating cookies (this is a big one...really hard to get this shit done with her still awake).  And, with school starting sooner rather than later, I will need this time to get prepared for the next day (ie- lunches, sports/dance crap, snacks, check backpacks, etc)

The 2nd night was a little better.  I did manage to keep her awake all day (she did sleep until noon due to the unfortunate crying binge the night before).  Although, she did look like she was gonna fall asleep a couple times in the car... I arranged to make several stops after dropping Kyra off at dance so that she was out of her seat more often.  We read a story, sang 2 songs and I put her in the crib explaining that it was 'night night' time and she was going to sleep in her crib.  The girl immediately started crying as we entered her room and clung to me for dear life.  She than proceeded to cry for about 2 hours.  As far as I know, she did not wake up the rest of the night...apparently I sleep like the dead... but I didn't hear her so I am assuming she made it through the night.

The 3rd far... I managed to keep her awake for most of the day.  She fell asleep on a car ride that lasted less than 10 minutes..  Woke her up as soon as we got home instead of letting her sleep (it was 6:00pm) like we normally do. I have to admit, it was kinda funny watching her walk b/c she was in such a dead sleep that she was out of it... Yes, I put her on the ground and made her walk inside...otherwise, she would've fallen back asleep on my shoulder before we made it in the door.  Can you say, Drunken Sailor??  lol...we followed the same routine as last night with a book and 2 songs.  I told her it was 'night night' time.  She looked at Me, looked at my bed and kept saying ' Mamma... mamma ' like she wanted to sleep with me.  Alas, I dragged my self out of the chair b/c I was seriously contemplating just letting her fall asleep with me and she started crying and freaking out right away.  But, I stayed strong, told her I loved her, pried her hands from around my neck and put her in the crib.  Crying time- 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Whew... it is getting better.  We will see what the night brings us.

Hoping you all have a great night and day...and hoping this is a thing of the past!!