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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Settling In

Well, finally starting to settle in the new house - between moving, the new puppy, keeping the kids busy and dealing with the other "parents"- it has been quite stressful .
Little by little I suppose. Sometimes it gets to me- I need some adult time- this weekend will be time for that- the first one where we don't have to move furniture, dust, clean, adjust, paint etc etc etc! I hate painting- I mean, it looks cool when it's done, but the whole arduous process, sans sprayer, is really annoying. Of course we didn't use a sprayer, because we only painted one room- so why bother? As you can tell this wasn't my idea. Things break, stuff doesn't work, and I am slowly learning that home ownership is a whole new realm that I never knew about. Can't call the landlord anymore lol-
This in of itself is a mixed blessing- no one to tell us we can't have pets or paint the rooms- but when something busts- it's all on you- I guess I will be attending more Home Depot workshops lol

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New Home

It's been a long time since I have been able to write- we have been moving into our new home- better neighborhood- nicer neighbors- and we got a good deal on it considering the bad market.
It's been mostly me and hubbo doing a majority of the work- due to the fact that my son was in NY on a class trip ( Napoleon Dynamite: Lucky!) and baby was with her mother meeting Christie Yamaguchi at Cheryl Burkes studio opening. ( She is on Dancing with the Stars)
So, while these children were enjoying themselves and having a great time meeting famous folks and seeing Broadway musicals- me and hubbo were toiling and tarrying away- trying to get the damn house empitied!
Now, I will admit, I am not the tidiest person in the world-yes, you heard it here first, I am not really a pack rat or anything like that- hubbo, on the other hand, not only has enough crapola for god knows how many people- his ex kept dropping off more crap to add to the already monumental amount of crap that was in the garage! I am not kidding, it has taken us 6 days to move out of the old house- this should have been over long before that- I am so sick of moving! I will be glad when it is all over- then we have the new house to tackle- ee gad!
I am happy here though, don;t get me wrong- it is a cute house- and we don't have to move again because it was bought- so that's a good thing!
So here it is, noon on Father's Day, and I actually slept in and am having coffee still-unbelievable!
Well, it should be over and done with soon- let's all hope!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Police and Military Gear

Are you in the security, law enforcement, or military field? If so, this site may be for you! Go and take a look at
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The site is easy to navigate and they have great customer service- so go and check them out today!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Hello all,
It's been a while, I know- buying a house and getting things together is a daunting yet rewarding task!
I was Starbucks today, thinking about how in my 20's I refused to patronize any Starbucks- it was my personal rebellion against the corporate machine. I managed to stay out of Starbuck's until 2000- when I was introduced to the Frappuccino- NOT COOL! One taste of the delectable Caramel Frappuccino and it was all over for me! I still miss the beatnik look of the urbane coffee houses I haunted back in the day that were second homes to film and art students, street urchins and trippy folk in general. Where I could see god forsaken terrible art for sale on the walls, and buy a chainmail bracelet to support the local artist who made it-
Back to Starbucks- this is also where I get my whole bean coffee- if you read back, you will see that I am a coffee snob lol
I buy Columbian, good stuff, by the pound. And I always get my small house coffee with it- if you are not aware of this deal, they are supposed to give you a small house coffee with every pound you buy. You must mention this lol- otherwise they won't give you one- I always get one for hubbo- because he is not one for the frou frou drinks that they make- he likes his coffee,plain and tall, dammit. Me, on the other hand, I like the frothy delectable kinds- these are also the ones that contain like, 2000 calories!
But, needless to say, I have crossed over the dark side. LOL!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to All

Hey everyone- I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day- I got a Snicker's Cheesecake, a pedicure gift certificate, chocolate and a lovely card. How blessed and loved I feel to be appreciated for the things I do. I love being a mother, and I know no other way to be- it is what defines me in my life- it is what makes me real and whole-I am MOTHER :)
I hope all of you have had a special day today as well-

I found some beautiful quotes about mothers and children I wanted to share with all of you below.

# Mother is the name of God in the lips and hearts of children.
- William Makepeace Thackeray

Children are a bridge to Heaven. - Persian Proverb
There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.
- Chinese Proverb

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Used Cars Online

Are you one of the many people thinking about buying a used car? Not wanting to spend a lot? Well who does? In this day and age, we all want to save a buck and get a relaible car. Stop by and check out their Used Car section. You will be amazed at what is available. There is an enormous selection of used cars offered at the best prices by both private sellers and used car dealerships.

Save time and money! has a real easy to use search feature.Just enter in the make and model of the car you’re looking for - be sure to choose a color and price range too. Location and who you would prefer to buy from are also important search criteria- a private owner or a dealer (or both!). You can also select how you want the results to be sorted, which really narrows your search and saves you time. Click the Search button and you’re on your way to finding the perfect ride- how easy is that? is able to guarantee that they offer very competitive rates.

Have no idea what car you want? Go to their Buying Advice Page. Click thelink on the left side of the main menu and.The Buying Advice section offers great advice on questions to ask the seller (i.e., Why are you selling the vehicle? Are you the original owner? How many miles does it have? Has it ever been in an accident?), nine points on pre-test drive and seven or more points post- test drive.The best advice is to look at the car during the daytime ( nighttime viewing can be tricky, hard to see flaws etc.!)and to also listen for any unusual noises or knocking,as well as seeing if you notice any weird smells!), and they are also thorough enough to provide you with an 18 points buyer’s checklist! Pretty cool if you ask me!

Caveat Emptor :Buyer Beware! What out for scams- this site give advice on how to avoid them!
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tootin Tuesday!

I can't believe it's Tuesday again! Well, I have something GREAT to toot about this Tuesday! We got our house! YAAAAY! And it is the best house we could ever ask for- so we all are so happy. We shocked the kids on Sunday ( we found out our offer had been accepted on Saturday when the kids were at their other parents' house.) We took them for a ride and didn't say where we were going- and then we pulled up in front of the house. My son asks me " Uh, Mom? Why are we pulled up in front of a house with a For Sale sign?" I just looked at him. And then it sunk in, " This is ours?" Both kids were ecstatic- especially stepbaby- she wants to paint her room designer colors, and put in shelves, and get new posters, and get an area rug, and, and, and, LOL! Such a decorator! I look forward to doing all of that and more in our new home- I have been a renter for so long- it will take some time for me to realize that this is mine forever~!

Monday, April 28, 2008

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Fave

Today is all about one of the best, most delectable thing in the known world- The Cookie-
How does one pick just a single favorite, when there are so many wonderful varieties out there? Hmmmm, decisions decisions.
Thinking about this has taken me back in time to when I was a little girl- my Great Aunt used to make Italian Wedding Cake Cookies every year for Christmas and they were my ABSOLUTE FAVE! So much so, she made me a special tin of them to have ALL TO MYSELF!!!!! Now mind you, this was a tin for me as well as however many I could swipe from the various tabletops and buffet platters-
We have a lot of family, so this would make for a lot of these wonderful cookies! I don't have my Great Aunt's recipe handy, but I searched and found one that is very similar- these are also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes.

  • 1-1/3 C. Butter Flavor Shortening
  • 2/3 C. confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2-1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 tsp.salt
  • 1 C. finely chopped pecans
  • Additional confectioners' sugar

  1. In a bowl combine shortening, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and almond extracts; beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add flour, salt and pecans; mix well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  5. Shape dough into 1- to 11⁄2-inch balls.
  6. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  7. Bake 25 minutes or until edges of cookies are light brown.
  8. Roll warm cookies in confectioners’ sugar.
  9. Remove to cooling rack.

Still on the house hunt !

Yeah, you heard it right- still searching! The one house we really really really (did I say REALLY?) liked, the other people made an ALL CASH offer- What??????????? Now, those of you that live and love in Cali know an all cash offer on a house in pretty crazy- so, needless to say- we didn't get in a bidding war over it lol
We are making other offers, and have found another house that we like even more- gulp!
This will be the third offer we have made- hope third time is the charm!
Oh, and I get to go see our new Rottweiler puppy this weekend- he will be coming home in about 4 weeks!!!!! yay!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday Tootin

It's Tuesday again, sadly, I missed last weeks toot, sometimes life can get in the way of blogging. Let's see - I think I will toot about my son this week- he has been taking drum lessons for about a year ( he's 13 ) and is getting pretty good.
Anyways, hubbo is a guitar player- and has been playing for 25 years. He is very talented and has written and recorded several demos over the years- he also sings like a cross between Glenn Danzig and Ronnie James Dio. So, the 2 of them decided to jam the other night.
Now, I know some of you moms might find a drumset and a guitar playing in the garage to be a painful experience, but I personally thought it was GREAT! Loud music and kids laughing don't bother me- because I'm a rocker myself. I tried to get my son into guitar playing when he was 8 or so, but he wasn't having it. He started going to this teen club and gets drum lessons there, and he is hooked. I am impressed he has stuck to it for a year, and has no plans of stopping.
He went to a rock concert with a friend and his dad and was mesmerized by the drumsets and professional drummers there- totally starstruck!
My son held his own with the rythyms and did an awesome job. I didn't realize how good he is getting until I heard him playing with another instrument.
I think music is a great way for parents and kids to spend one on one time.
Don't you?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cheap Phone Cards

Cheap Phone Cards

Love to talk on the phone, but hate the long distance charges? Don't we all, well, there are ways you can avoid this problem- and that is through using phone cards- a cheap and efficient way to keep in touch with your friends, family, and loved ones. THERICHCOM.COM makes the buying and choosing of prepaid phone card easier for you. How? Well, you can search or the best rate phone card that works for you. You select the country and click the get phone cards link. This will give you options for calling and you then pick the one that is best for you. . All the phone cards they carry are delivered to you, online, instantly! You also earn 3% cash back on every purchase.

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Long time no blog

Hi all- well, these things do happen, meaning, when I don't get a chance to write everyday- I do try, but sometimes domestic needs call- that and work and family etc etc- you know the anyways, working hard freelancing-
I never really went into what it is my hubbo and I do- he is a web developer and I am a graphic artist and marketing goddess lol
I was working a lot full time when he and I first met - and he was my inspiration to go back to school and pursue a dream....remember those?
I had my son at 19 years of age, and dropped out of college to work and raise him- something I NEVER regretted- don't get me wrong for one second, my son is a true blessing in every sense of the word-
But, now that he is older, and both children aren't toddler age anymore- I have had time to think of things I wanted to do to better myself.
And so, begins my journey, to be able to make more money, be around my family more and really feel like I have accomplished something great.
Like Frank McCourt's mother used to say... "that's your dream out now..."
'Tis, Angela, 'Tis......
until next time...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tootin Tuesday

Ok- I have laundry issues myself- I don't mind doing it- the kids know how to fold and put their stuff away- but I have to ask- how do they wind up using so many freakin towels? My 10 year old is the equivalant to half a person and she uses 2 towels per shower and showers daily- my son is no better, he puts the towels on the floor- (learned behavior from the man of the house ahem)
so I wind up washing loads and loads of towels. I tell them not to do it- but I caught the younger one yesterday going into the bathroom- where there were already 4 towels that were used one time- with two new towels- I was like, no, put them back. I' just sick of seeing nice towels on the floor and doing loads and loads and never seeming to get ahead. Am I obssessive? What should I do?

Police Gear Site

Are you a cop? Do you know a cop or just play on on TV? JK - anyways, go check out
They have a cool site with everything a cop's heart would desire- so go and see it - and buy something nice for the cop in your life :)
5.11 gear

this lovely post was sponsored by the fabulous PAYPERPOST people- get paid to blog!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Hello All

I'm back- been typing my head off for what seems like days- doing the freelance fishing lol- so far so good- I am also looking for other ways to make a little extra on the side- so any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Other than that, let's see- searching for a new home - yes, you heard it here- we are buying in California! Anyways, I think we found the house- as long as they take the offer- THEY BETTER! LOL, just kidding human rights people- no violent tendencies here, just poetic license.
Anyways, it's a cool house, so if we get it, I may just have to post pics all about it-that and the new dog which should be arriving in about a month- haven't told the kids yet- we want it to be a surprise!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bad Credit Offers

Bad credit can be a sad fact if life- divorce, illness, job loss- it has happened to the best of us. It doesn't have to stay that way though- there are people out there who can make it better! is a comparison website for people needing auto loans, credit cards, home loans, personal loans and more.
So, start rebuilding your credot today! Give a chance, you may like what you see!
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Hello all,
I am coming into my second week of being at home- so far so good- it's all a waiting game. I am optimistic - my hubbo is good for that- he is my biggest supporter-I am lucky to have him :)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Pay Per Post

well cool- my blog is finally old enough to be able to do pay per post- what a nifty opportunity! payperpost is a nice way to make a little extra cabbage, scrill, duckets, moolah, what have you- I will let people know how it goes! This site is actually the most reccommended for making money doing product reviews-and I have been doing a lot of research!

Our new baby puppy

Here is a pic of our newborn baby boy- born on 3/20- super tiny- but not for long- he is a rottweiler!

We will be able to bring him home in about 7 weeks- YAY!!!!!!!


No, this is not a biblical blog, sorry 700 club people- it's actually about a band I went to go see this weekend in San Francisco is a metal band that has been around for about 20 years, and is my favorite band of all time still lol

Yes, I am a metalhed mom- much to the dismay of some of you readers. This does not mean, though, that I am a devil worshipping lunatic, for those of you living in the less liberal parts of the US!

I am a rocker and roller- the music moves me and makes me happy- and I blew my voice out screaming on saturday night lol- it's my way to get things out in a positive way- my hubbo and I like to go to shows a lot- its a good thing seeing as both our ex spouses were total lamos in the music dept- and never wanted to indulge us in our musical tastes- but that's ok becuase they suck and we don't LOL! Anyways, I had an awesome time- here are some pics to show how close up I was! Pretty close huh- amazing what a camera phone can do- what a novelty!!!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Taking The Leap

Well, I have just left my full time job to pursue my schooling and freelance work. Wait, what, AM I CRAZY???? The hell you say! Yes, maybe I am- maybe all those years of being a cog in a corporate machine did something to my head- maybe I just couldn'[t take it anymore- and, like so many moms of this generation, I was sick of being out of the loop on absolutely everything going on with my kids, the house etc. I was sick of having to lay all the errands and activities on my spouse to handle because he works at home- it wasn't air to him with me out of the house 50 hours a week- he wasn't able to build on his business and take time to study because he was having to do domestic crap that I wasn't able to help with. Decisions decisions- when do we decide to take the leap? When do we decide enough is enough and roll the dice? Well, I'm dice rolling right now- and it's a scary feeling, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lovely Saturday Morning

Ahhh, nothing like a clear day on a saturday with a wonderful cup of Starbucks coffee ( Yes, we over here are coffee snobs- we don't usually GO to the Starbucks, but we buy the coffee and make it here- same great experience without all those tempting scones- I swear those are the devil himself LOL!)
My son is at a friends, and baby is still sleeping- hubbo is at the tax man ( ahh, the joys of being self employed!) so I am here on my own. Nice and quiet, save for the fact that the house is a frigging mess!
I'll be honest here- I HATE housework, I mean, who doesn't? But, I think I hate it more than some-
My neighbor across the street- nice gal, with 2 kids - works 2 days a week and her house is like something out of Better Homes and Gardens! No, I mean seriously- have you ever seen a house that looks like a model to be shown to prospective buyers? This is the one! She had a bunch of neighbors over and I swear, I was araid to touch or sit on anything! How does a woman do this with 2 kids and a husband who works full time? SERIOUSLY< WHAT IS THE SECRET???? I WANT TO KNOW!!! My house is a wreck! We try and keep up - even have the kids clean their rooms and help with clearing the table and stuff,but still, the kitchen especially- GOOD LAWD!!!!
ANyone have any housekeeping secrets??? I would love to know-
I am deliberately procrastinating here- it's ok- there is more to life than having a spotless house!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Get Paid To Blog

Yes, you heard it here- like you hear all over the web, but this site is actually legitimate! At Smorty you can make an account and start getting paid to blog . This is a great way to make some extra money doing something you really love. The idea is this, Smorty has a variety of different advertisers that want people to post opinions about them with a link to their site, you get paid to post an article about any advertiser you choose. They, in turn, pay you- sound good? Yeah it is!
Smorty- is one of the most known and best for getting paid to write opinion articles, which I think is pretty cool- well, who wouldn't think it was cool to get paid to write? I mean, all of us bloggers love to write or we wouldn't be here blogging, would we?
They offer services for advertisers as well- so go check them out
blog advertising
I am still new at this, so I will let people know how it's going for me, hopefully it goes well!
Maybe this will be the lauch you need to start working from home! That's one dream of mine, is to be able to work at least part time at home-
Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More on the Dog

THE ROTTWEILERS I SAW LAST NIGHT WERE ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!!!!! We went to a great breeder and saw generations of these wonderful dogs- from 2 months to 11 years old! It was a fun experience- I am a total animal lover!
My hubby and I each have a child from a previous marriage, and are unable to have a child between us - so this dog will be like our new baby- I am very much looking forward to it-
I have always had that maternal instinct from a very young age- it started with my kitty that I had when I was 2- her name was Bumble ( go figure lol!) and I would dress her in doll clothes and push her around in a baby buggy- she was such a good tolerant cat!!!!!
Someday I would love to have a horse- but, they are VERY expensive! But one can dream~~~~~!!!!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Blog about a dog

Well,my wonderful life mate has decided we must add another member to our animal menagerie :) He wants to get a purebred male Rottweiler- see above pic- HOW CUTE IS THAT! Although they can get upward of 150 pounds, these dogs are very loyal and loving and wonderful with children, hence why we want one.
We are going tonight to the wonderfully recommended Neu-Castle Rottweilers in Livermore to take a look at the parents and reserve a baby for 8 weeks from now!
Anyone have suggestions for names??????

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stop Spoiling Your Kids!!!!

I really think this man has the right idea- I follow his advice on a lot of issues-

Over-indulgence, Dr. Phil explains, is one of the most insidious forms of child abuse. Here is a perspective that might help you stop.

Your primary job as a parent is to prepare your child for how the world really works. In the real world, you don't always get what you want. You will be better able to deal with that as an adult if you've experienced it as a child.

If your parent/child relationship is based on material goods, your child won't have the chance to experience unconditional love.

Be a good role model. "We're not the only influence in our kids' lives, so we better be the best influence," says Dr. Phil.

Redefine what taking care of your children means. Are you providing for them emotionally and spiritually? You need not buy them material goods in order to create a bond. Instead of tangible gifts, how about spending some time together? Be careful that you aren't teaching them that emotions can be healed by a trip to the mall.

Don't let your guilt get in the way of your parenting. "Your job as a parent is not to make yourself feel good by giving the child everything that makes you feel good when you give it," Dr. Phil tells one mom. Your job as a parent is to prepare your child to succeed in school and when they get out into the world. "Kids have to be socialized in a way that they understand you work hard for what you get." You don't want to teach your child that they will get everything through manipulation, pouting, crying, door slamming and guilt induction.

Make sure your children aren't defining their happiness and their status in the world as a function of what they wear or drive. Sit down with them and have a one-on-one conversation about what really defines their worth — their intelligence, their creativity, their caring, their giving, their work ethic, etc. If you spent equal time sitting down and talking to them about what really mattered as you do shopping, you might be able counterbalance the countless images they see telling them otherwise.

Understand "intrinsic" versus "extrinsic" motivation. Intrinsic motivation is when people do things because they feel proud of themselves when they do it. They feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement. Extrinsic motivation is when someone does something because of external motivation. For example, they will receive money, a toy or priviledge if they do the task. If you are always rewarding your child with material things, he/she will never learn how to motivate themselves with internal rewards like pride. They also will never learn to value things because there are so many things and nothing is special.

Make sure your child understands the value of hard work. For example, Dr. Phil explains, "I always told our boys, 'If you make Cs, you're going to have a C standard of living. If you make Bs, you're going to have a B standard of living. If you make As, you're going to have an A standard of living.'"

Dr. Phil reminds one young guest who aspires to be wealthy that it's not a bad goal, but it takes a lot of hard work to get there. "The difference between winners and losers is winners do things losers don't want to do. And that's work hard to get ready to be a star," he says.

If your child idolizes a celebrity, ask him/her why. Dr. Phil speaks to one young guest who looks up to rich girls like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. "What have either of them ever done, except spend money that they got from somebody else? What is it you're looking up to?"

Your child does not have to love you every minute of every day. He'll get over the disappointment of having been told "no." But he won't get over the effects of being spoiled.

Help your child set goals. Teach him/her that striving to own nice things is fine if he/she understands how much hard work it takes to afford that, and then doesn't base his/her self-worth around what she buys.

From The Show
"Spoiled and Entitled"
Too Rich, Too Young
Related Links
Dr. Phil's How To ...
Are You Raising a Spoiled Brat?
Kids Ask Dr. Phil and Robin
Parenting 101: Parenting Bloopers
Take a Parenting Test
Core Steps to Good Parenting

Being A Decent Parent

Hi all- it's that time again, where I take this moment to rant about what a jackass my stepbaby's mother is. I use the term "mother" loosely-(read some past blogs for a more in-depth)
She moves to another city 50 miles away- cuts her visiting time from 50% to 15%- claims she has to live there because she can't find work where we are (bullshit) and to top it off- is barely working at all and hasn't sent a dime of money for this child in 9 months!
The kids needs glasses- we are paying for all the insurance- doing all the school stuff- basically I am doing her job and she is fine with it- she makes me sick!
She is a "recovering" alcoholic with Courtney Love syndrome where she will be shitfaced drunk and claim " I havent had a drink in a year!"
She has no plans to move back closer or be more of a mother- she isn't interested in how the kid is doing in school or any of the day to day stuff- she doesn't encourage any extra curricular activities- which we also pay for as well. Who does the broad think she is?????? I don't get it at all! Baby may also need some extra help with math, so we are looking for a tutor- another thing this woman won't help pay for- am i being too harsh? I think if you have children you either spend time or money or both! You dont give birth to hand them over to someone else- man I hate her sometimes!
Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How I know my son is growing up

well, my son has been surfing the um, well, ADULT sites - we found out because he must have clicked one that disabled my anti virus and now my laptop (which has all my schoolwork and basically my life on it) is locked up-!
So, he got the mother lecture from me, and then my hubbo talked to him man to man and said he understood that he was a guy etc etc, and made my son not feel like a freak of nature, which is a good thing-
I can't belive my son is already looking at this kind of stuff- he is only 13!
We usually monitor time online for both kids, but he has snuck on a couple of times when one of us wan't right there- we keep all the coputers in the office for this very reason, so we can MONITOR them! Yeah, THAT WORKED WELL!
My little boy- surfing internet sex sites
Well, it could be worse, I suppose!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

School School School

Well, I am back in the swing of school again, hence the lack of decent blogging the past 2 weeks- ( sorry about that!)
I am enrolled in the local JC, taking graphic design courses, going for an Adobe Applications Specialist Certification. I really enjoy it, although, this semester I am having to go to class on site- so I have a 13 hour day every Tuesday and don't get home until 8:30 pm- Thank God for Starbucks! I actually never thought I would say that about such a corporate machine, but they truly are my savior on my class days!
I hope someday to be able to work less hours for more money and maybe be able to freelance and work from home like my hubbo does (lucky bas!)
How many of you moms out there are back in school? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Friday Meme for YOU!

OK , here are my answers for the Friday Meme- try doing it yourself also and leave me answers in the comments-

1. The last compliment I got was from my hubbo_____; he/she said ___I was smart!__.
2. I'm reading _nothing new right now, I need to go to the library!___.
3. I woke up today and thought _thank god it's Friday!____
4. Why does _Starbucks taste so good?____.
5. The last thing I ate was __Dinner last night- tortellini :)___.
6. January... __is a borning cold month....___.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __a Harley Ride___, tomorrow my plans include _motorcycle ride and dinner____ and Sunday, I want to __SLEEP IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!___!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Blended Family Articles

Hi All,
How many of you love Dr Phil? Well, I Do! He is one of my few guilty pleasures- every night at 8pm- I enjoy watching his show, I feel he has a wonderful insight to human nature, and I have utilized some of the tools for dealing with people and situations, and have found them to be quite helpful in many ways. Here are some articles he has composed on the subject of blended families and step-parenting. I hope these are helpful to some of you who may be struggling- I have found what he says to be very profound. It's not easy being a parent, let alone a step-parent, but I feel patience is the utmost virtue that we all need to exude. Bonds will be created, it just takes time.

There's no doubt that being a stepparent is one of the most difficult roles any adult will ever assume. So much pain can be avoided if you can agree on some very basic definitions of that role, and be alert to sensitivities with it.

To handle this situation with the utmost efficiency, both the biological parent and the stepparent should begin with an open and candid discussion about the fears and expectations regarding the relationship with the children. Each should know what the other expects concerning the stepparent's involvement in guiding, supervising and disciplining the children. Once you understand what each other's expectations are, you have a place to start shaping what the stepparent role will be. I always think it's important to first identify what you can agree on and thereby narrow your differences. How you ultimately define the stepparent role will, of course, be up to you. The following are my recommendations based on what I've seen work, what I've seen fail and how I think it's best to set up and define the stepparent role:

1. It's my strong belief that unless you as the stepparent are added to the family when the children are very young, it will most likely be very difficult for you to discipline your spouse's children. Every situation is different, but in most situations, disciplining your nonbiological children is fraught with danger, since it's likely to create resentment on the part of your spouse. Again, this isn't always the case, and if that's not the circumstance in your family, that's great, because it can give the biological parent an additional resource for handling discipline issues. While I don't believe it's very likely a workable situation for a stepparent to be a direct disciplinarian, it's extremely important that the stepparent be an active supporter of the biological parent's disciplinary efforts. Both biological parents and stepparents should discuss the rules of the house and negotiate an agreement for what standards the children will be held to. This element of family life should be subject to the same negotiation and joint ownership as any other family situation.

2. The stepparent, although not actively initiating direct discipline, should certainly work to maintain the normal boundaries that exist between an adult and a child. Although it may be the biological parent who delivers an initial consequence for misbehavior, it's important that the stepparent be active in support of that decision, and care should be taken that proper respect and acknowledgment of the stepparent be given. In other words, a stepfather is not simply one's mother's husband. He is in fact an adult and an authority figure in the home.

3. In relating to all the children, the stepparent should seek to define his or her relationship as that of an ally and supporter. Whether the stepparent is the same or opposite-sexed parent, their presence can play an important balancing role in terms of modeling and information-giving about life from the male or female point of view. The role of ally and supporter is in no way to be construed as an attempt to replace the biological parent.

4. It's important that the stepparent not have unrealistic expectations about their level of closeness or intimacy with the stepchildren. Relationships are built, and it takes time and shared experiences to create a meaningful one. The stepparent should also be aware that the child may be experiencing a fair amount of emotional confusion — and may in fact feel guilty that they're betraying their biological mother or father by having a close and caring relationship with their stepmother or -father. Great care and patience should be taken to allow the child an opportunity to work through those feelings.

5. The stepmother or -father should actively support the chid's relationship with the biological mother or father no longer in the home. If you are in the role of stepfather, you should make it a priority to nurture a relationship between you and the biological father and to find every possible way you can to support a relationship between him and his children. By taking the high road of facilitation, you'll find it easier to overcome feelings of resentment both on the part of the biological father and the children he no longer has daily access to. This may require some real internal commitment on your part, because supporting your stepchildren's relationship with their biological but absent parent may seem tantamount to also supporting that parent's relationship with your spouse. Don't let jealousy or envy of the bond they share with their children or the working relationship and history with your current mate cause you to be less than supportive of that relationship.

6. If you're the stepparent in a truly blended family, where both you and your spouse have children being merged into a "yours, mine and ours" scenario, you must take great care not to be perceived as playing favorites through a double standard in which your children enjoy a better standard of treatment than your stepchildren. The truth is, however unpopular or politically incorrect it may be to say, you'll very likely have decidedly stronger positive emotional feelings for your biological children than for your stepchildren, at least in the beginning. You'll need to cloak this difference in emotional intensity. As time goes on and you share life experiences with your stepchildren, there will be a leveling of emotions toward all of the children. In the meantime, you should be hypersensitive to the need to deal with each in a like fashion. It can be very helpful in the early stages to actually quantify and balance the time, activities and money spent on biological and nonbiological children.

7. If you as a biological parent are having frustrations with the stepparent and what they're doing in relation to your children, I encourage you at a very early point to stop complaining and start specifically asking for what you want and need. If, for example, you feel they're spending more time playing games with their children, ask them specifically, for example, to play three board games per week with your child. Specifically ask for what you specifically want.

In summary, let me say it's true that it's difficult to see things through someone else's eyes if you haven't walked in their shoes. Whether you're the stepparent or it's your spouse who's in that role, talk frequently about how it's going and what the experience is from the other's point of view. If both of you have good intentions and a loving heart, this can be worked out. The key is to remember that the children are passengers on this train. They didn't get an opportunity to choose whether they wanted a new family member, so great care and patience should be taken to help them adapt to the situation.


A blended family is often a difficult balancing act between the new spouse, the new stepchildren, and your own kids. It can take years to bring harmony to a blended family, but it is attainable. Dr. Phil offers this advice:

Acknowledge the challenge.
You knew that your spouse was bringing a child from a previous relationship into the marriage, so that part of your situation can't be a shock. If you're shocked about having to come up with a plan to resolve difficulties, get over it! Nobody said this would be an easy hill to climb. You need to sit down with your spouse to discuss money, discipline, childcare and any other issues that you haven't mutually agreed upon yet.

Have your discussions outside of crisis.
If most of your discussions are taking place within the context of an argument, you need to stop. Agree to make time to talk calmly and rationally. This is important for you but more important for your children. When you argue in front of children you change who they are. For you, the fight is over when it's over. For your children, it doesn't end. They don't see you make up. They don't participate in the healing. They go to bed at night thinking that their parents are fighting because of them.

Stop complaining and be specific.
You need to stop complaining and start asking for what you specifically need from your partner. Tell him or her exactly what he/she needs to do in order to make you and your kids feel accepted and special. In turn, you need to ask your partner what is needed from you.

Mutually agree on punishment.
Don't assume that your style of disciplining will be appropriate for your stepchildren. It's important that you talk to your spouse about the rules and punishment that existed before you joined the family. It's unfair to change the rules on a child overnight.

Create a personal relationship.
Make a commitment to developing a relationship with your stepchild that has nothing to do with your spouse. Set aside some special time in which you and the child can interact alone. You also need to stop thinking of your stepchild as "his/her kid" and regard the child as an individual. Make no doubt about it, you are a pivotal person in that child's life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

How was your Holiday?

That's right, I want to know! How was YOUR holiday? How many moms got what they wanted for the Christmas or Hannukah or Kwanssa or Ramadan season? I got an espresso maker (yes, I am a Starbuck's addict!), a gift card with a LOT of money on it, a beautiful robe, and lots of little things as well-
But, the best part was seeing ths kids open up all their things, and feeling thankful that we were all together on this special day.
So, let me know ladies, how was YOUR holiday?

My Kids on Halloween

Swimming !

My son and his cousins trying to be good for the camera- it took about 6 takes!

My husband the Lizard Man- yes, we are reptile fanatics!

Got to love Frank! Chinese Theater Hollywood

Me and my boy in Venice CA

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