Friday, October 21, 2011

Pittsburgh Penguins are not real animals

We were shopping at Giant Eagle when we heard over the loud speaker that there was a Pittsburgh Penguin signing autographs at the front of the store. Being the good friend that we are AJ and I went to the front to get an autograph for a friend. I told her we were going to meet a penguin, and then we got in line. We met the pretzel for HK Anderson Pretzels ( and you can find her pic with the pretzel), when it hit me. AJ was expecting the Pittsburgh Penguin to be a fuzzy black and white animal.. . . uh oh. Quickly I told her that this was a person we were meeting and he played hockey for the Penguins.  AJ took this is stride and made up a song (remember she isnt 3 yet)... "mr penguin, you are a person not an animal. you are gonna play a penguin"  Well he must have thought she was cute, because he picked her up and took her pic. So here it is my first pic on the blog and its one of AJ with Pascal Dupuis.  The exciting things that happen when you are shopping on a Friday night.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moving Mayhem and Missing my Blog Friends

We recently moved to the Pittsburgh Area, and I am sorry to say that adjusting to my new world, made me leave behind some parts of my old world that I didnt want to give up.  My blog, my Mary Kay business, and seeing my friends has been harder, but I am making big changes.

Since we have moved my business is picking up slowly, and now we have a computer so I can blog again. Also I am working on healthier cooking as a part of my new world. I will share some recipes on here as I perfect them. And I will get back to sharing stories about the little girl, she is way to funny to keep them to myself.

Lets try to think of one good one to tell... One of our newest experiences was going to the Children's Musem to see Dora Live.  The show was wonderful, and the company was awesome.  "AJ" enjoyed playing on the set and singing "Isa Turn the Wheel."  I will keep folks updated of the new things there are to do around here as we experience them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lions, Tigers, and TICKS !! Oh my!!!

We have been playing outside a lot lately, and I found a bug/bite on "AJ's" leg that we were pretty sure was a tick.  The ER could not confirm that because of what it looked like, but they did inform me that the day we were there they have 6 people who were treated for ticks.  They are very real, and very prevalent in our community currently. 

Then I came to work and it was discussed that three of my co-workers children have had ticks on them, sometimes multiple ticks.   We have been told that because the weather has been so damp lately that the ticks are higher and more prevalent at the current time.

Check out the website below for information on ticks.  When in doubt call the doctor.   DO NOT USE GASOLINE, VASOLINE, DAWN, or  A BLOW TORCH, they do not work (all remedies I have heard lately).   Check your children and your self when you get a bath, the hospital informed us the sooner you get the tick off the better your chances of no disease.  

Sing the Brad Paisely song, "Ticks" as you do this task if you like.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sleep Apnea

Poor "AJ" is probably going to be your response when you look at these pictures.  She had a sleep study done at the Sleep Lab for Children's Hospital in Wexford.  She did such a good job, she was such a trooper with all the wires and cords.  It was definitely not her normal routine for going to bed either, since she is used to mommy rocking her.

From this I learned that night terrors are real for her, (they have definitely been real in our home for us, but now we have a medical professional telling us they are real).  That she has real problems breathing in her sleep, and we need more medical opinions to see our next step.  For now, it remains our job to go to her when she wakes up screaming and assure she isnt hurting herself.  My only sigh of relief here is that I keep learning of more friends with kids who have this issue and it didnt last long for them...just 4 years, and we are 2.5 in.

Friday, April 29, 2011

More World Disasters

It hasnt been that long since I was blogging about world disasters and how much we share with our children, but also being able to share with them ways that they can help others in need.  I thought I would repost this article from last month in light of all of the tornado disasters in the midwest.

Please remember those who have been affected both in your giving, and your prayers.  Not just those with damage to homes and lives are affected but also those who are related, friends, workers, etc... it is such a trickle effect.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Experiences - An airport and revival

About a month ago, PHBC (Penn Hills Baptist Church) had a revival and one of my friends from college, (the very musically talented Brian McClure) came from Nashville, TN to lead worship on Friday night.

So on Thursday we took "AJ" to the airport to pick him up and to watch the planes come and go, but alas, she feel asleep as soon as we pulled in.

She had lots of fun playing with "Misser Brian" he has lots of energy (like her) and could chase her, which he did, and taught her some new games. We even practiced hunting for eggs for Easter. ("mom its empty, no chocate" was her response to this practice, a kid after my own heart).

Then on Friday night, we went to the church for revival. Going to church is not a new thing for "AJ" but a hellfire and brimstone preacher is. She was ok in the sanctuary for the music worship but she went to the nursery like normal for the speaker. When the preacher got going her eyes got huge and she looked at the monitor in the room and said "thats not my pappy".

On Saturday we made a return trip to the airport to take "misser Brian" to catch his plane. Both mama and "AJ" shed a tear as we waved good-bye. Just as we turned around to get in the car we got to see a plane take off. "AJ" said "a plane momma." So glad our trip to the airport wasnt a total bust on seeing a plane.

Hopefully it won't be too long before we pick up our friend for another visit, but until then we will look at pictures and remember the fun of this weekend.

Oh yeah, we've been introduced to Horizons Organic Milk   which "AJ" loved and will become her new treat when mommy gets her latte...all thanks to our personal barista's/Starbucks tutor's recommendations.

I am sure he wouldnt mind but if you want to hear any of "Misser Brian's music"... check out...

Experiences and Curious George

We try to collect "Curious George Books"  for all the experiences "AJ" has had. Such as when she went to the chocolate factory (post coming), going to the donut shop and zoo. There are so many books out there, but I thought I would list a few of our favorites from our fun.

Curious George
Curious George Goes Camping
Curious George Visits the Library
Curious George Visits the Zoo
Curious George and the Donut Delivery
Curious George and the Pizza Party

and SOOOOO Many more

Monday, April 25, 2011

Blogs I love

I would be remiss if I didnt write about some of the blogs I read on a regular basis and why I love them.

1. Frugal Family Fun Blog  - this is one of my favorite blogs ever. It has craft ideas, ideas to use recyclables, great ideas on fun ways to interact with your children, and do it all without breaking the bank.

2. Teach Mama - this site has lots of educational ideas most from a reading or math basis using things you probably already have. One of my favorite blog articles was using silly bands for math.  Lots of pdf downloads of the worksheets are available too.

3. Pink and Green Mama - found this one through another blog, I love it for the art ideas with recyclables, such as the heart shape crayons, and the toilet paper roll finger puppets.

4. Chalk in my Pocket - found this blog again through someone else, I think through a comment on facebook. I have enjoyed the nature ideas for toddlers and the recipe for the baked apple chips.

5. Schick Fun Ideas - this blog is a friend of mine and has a lot of ideas for many different things, children's sermons, activities, educational ideas for toddlers and school age, and just general thoughts.

These are my current go-to sites for advice and ideas. They are all unique and I like different things about each.  Do you have a favorite blog or do you also follow one of these.    I am always finding more, and I will put some more reviews out there as I try more.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I am an educator... I teach women about Beauty...Thank you Mary Kay

I am an educator with Mary Kay Cosmetics. I don't sell Mary Kay. I teach women about glamour and skin care. Most importantly I teach women to value themselves.

From all of these women I learn as well. I learn about myself and my own self-esteem. I learn about what makes me feel beautiful on the outside and helping women makes me feel good on the inside.

Mary Kay's goal was to teach women about skin care, help them feel good about themselves, and supply women with an opportunity to support their families in this man's world. I am blessed by this opportunity in my own life.

Talk to me about my Mary Kay experience if you get the chance, I would love to share about my blessing with you. I have so many stories of the changes I have seen in women through my time in Mary Kay.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sick Days and Mommy's Shoes

Recently "AJ" had a trip to the ER because she was congested, only for us to find out it was more than being congested she had RSV. Thanks to our pediatrician "Dr. K" I now understand most of us get RSV during the  peak season every year (which is November to April) and dont know it.  RSV is basically a cold virus that is in your lungs not your nose and upper airways. It affects young children and the elderly differently, and has the chance of causing pnemonia if not treated.

Needless to say "AJ" stayed home from school and we had a mommy/daughter bonding day. It was complete with a trip to the "hair dresser" "make-up artist" and wearing mommy's shoes. "AJ" found my red high heels from my college days, and my clear shoes from my wedding (I wear a ten in most shoes). She paraded with them on saying "I pretty mommy, look at my shoes".  Such a girlie-girl.  I love every minute of it sick or not.

Here is a link to with information on RSV

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Experiences .... Veggie Movie

The newest of the movies in the Veggie Tales line is "Twas the Night Before Easter", a tale of the true meaning of Easter.

Recently our friends at PHBC hosted a movie event with games, crafts, snacks, and fun before we shared the movie on the big screen.

I highly recommend this fun movie this Easter season for the whole family.

PS> The next movie to hit the line will be this summer "The Princess and the PopStar" - - - looking forward to the next movie event.

Thoughts on World News

Thinking about the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan as well as the rising crises in our own country with fuel costs and rising food prices and health care. Families are needing to choose between fuel and bills. These issues/discussions about them can be alarming for our children, as well as the images of the current state of Japan, Libya, and its people.

I am not an alarmist of the end times, but these issues are there and the end is coming (as it has been since Christ assended, and will remain until he returns.  Rememeber even He doesnt know the day or hour).

I think we need to teach our children to be compassionate and concerned about others in needs without dwelling on the images too much, and that they are worried about adult topics.  Fred Rodgers has several articles on his website on how to teach children about things in the media or scary topics.  If you go to the PBS website, you can find lots of information on many topics, but here are the links to dealing with scary news and war and violence.

Some ways to work on teaching compassion to children are to:
1. Have a toy give away, clean your child's room with them and any toys in good condition give to either a children's hospital (they dont usually take stuffed things) or to a local charity
2. Find items to pack shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child with Samaritans Purse
3. Have a birthday party for the Peter Pan Project which benefits Children's Hospitals (you have a birthday party and instead of your child getting the gifts they are collected to be donated to a local children's hospital).
4. Food Drives (collecting food for your local food bank)
5. Donate $$ - giving some of your allowance to church or missions

6.  ... Does anyone else have ideas, these are the few I came up with

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Keystone Smiles . . . Seuss Night

Our community recently participated in "Read Across America" and the local Americorp division sponsored an amazing event centered around the book "If I Ran The Circus".

The entire building was decorated like a big top with activities including a carousel, a bounce house, crafts and the best "The Cat in the Hat" as a story teller.

"AJ" enjoyed it all and couldnt wait to tell family about 'the cat who reads'.

Please if you live local, watch for events sponsored by Keystone Smiles. They are always top-notch and deserve community support. Americorp and Keystone Smiles are great programs in our community.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Children in Need...Be a World Changer

Be a World Changer - that was the topic of Sunday School on February 27, when a missionary from Uganda was sharing about the issues affecting the children there. So many of them are heartbreaking and gutwrenching.

For me it is also a reminder taht children everywhere in the world are in need (Uganda, Japan, USA, etc..). They suffer and need people to care for them and to have a desire to help change their worlds.

Look around you and you will see many ways you can help the children. Be it support the missionaries, caseworkers, foster parents, pastors, teachers, doctors, judges, and the list goes on. Ask and people will tell you what they need and how you can help.

In the words of the missionary from that morning, REACT to what is happening in the world around you. Be a world changer - one life at a time.

Changing and helping children one life at a time has been my motto even in my own life and work.  I live by the story of the old man and the starfish.  (Google that story, it is awesome).  That story is my energy daily in my work, help kids one starfish at a time.

More Experiences...Yummy Warm Doughnuts

A couple of Friday's ago, we went to a local doughnut shop in Clarion on the recommendation of a friend.  We got to sit at the counter and watch the owners make the doughnuts.  It was the coolest thing "AJ" had seen, Mommy thought it was pretty awesome too.

The dough was in a silver batter bowl, that "plopped" it down into the oil, where it cooked for a bit, then was turned over, cooked somemore, and then went up a conveyor belt before being dropped in a bowl to cool.

The owners share that they have a vanilla doughnut everyday they are open but there are also days with chocolate, zebra, and blueberry.  All the doughnuts come "bare" and they have many toppings for you to choose from and then they dress your dougnuts.

We went home and I searched for the book Curious George and the Doughnut Shop but couldnt find's  looking if you have suggestions besides the library.

If you are in the Clarion area, the shop is in the 800 center, and is called Dough and Joe.  The coffee is good there as well, the prices are reasonable, and the doughnuts are fantastic.    "AJ" wants to know when we can go back.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Safety Plans in your Home... Practice Them

Watching the news and seeing the caskets from the farmhouse fire in Central Pa and reading about the mother standing on her lawn screaming for her infant in Southern Fayette County whiel holding her other children, has reminded me how quickly tragic accidents can happen.

For an excellent blog about fire safety please see my friend Robin's blog for her thoughts on the topic.

Also remember there are other safety concerns in your home/neighborhood as well that we should be teaching our chidlren about.
       * Stranger Danger
       * Poisons and Medications (Poison Control Phone Number 1-800-222-1222)
       * Your Home - look at it from the point of view of a toddler.  Do you need outlet covers, door locks, are there accessible wires, furniture or knickknacks that can be pulled down.  Do you have phone lists for emergencies, lists of illnesses and medications for the hospital if needed. Copies of important documents.  Are the paths for your escape routes blocked and have you practiced your escape plans
        * Check your smoke alarms, locks, etc... and Remember to be aware of your surroundings.

Comments on this topic are welcomed... This has been on my mind and heart a lot lately.

Remember to Praise

Kids are frustrating. They get into mayhem so quickly and just as quickly your temper may rise along with your voice (I admit mine does, I can be a yeller.).

One thing that may help with this is to look for the positives that your child is doing. "AJ" is working on getting better at cleaning up her toys when done. She loves to sing the clean up song.

Praise isn't always a natural thing or feeling to share. Look for the good things your child is doing (your spouse too), and point those out.

Praise yourself too for doing good. This will help teach your child this skill.  It is not conceited to give yourself praise (even outloud) for a job well done.

Only piece of advice I would give here is to remember not to make the praise sound like a condition of your love. Instead of saying "Johnny, I love it when you clean your room." Sounded like praise but it also attached your love to him having a clean room.  Say it more like "I like how you cleaned your room, good job."

Work not to attach you love to the praise statement. Listen to your wording when you talk (I admit I need to remember that too.)

Sometimes I think these lessons are made for me to learn in my head when I share them with others, just like my children's sermons are more for me than the church sometimes...   Happy Parenting

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Things kids say....

I would be remiss not to say Happy St. Patricks Day...

** Believe it or not, it amazes me the things that she says daily and mind you she is only 2.

1.  A recent conversation between mom and child. "Its time to get up momma.."  "Is it?" "The clock in my room says so (she doesnt have a clock BTW)" "What time does it say?" "40, time to get up. Want some hot tea momma?" All this as she walks to her kitchen, and picks up her pink Fisher Price tea pot and puts it on the stove.

2. "AJ" was recently sick (a post on that later) and got a get well card from Nana and Pappy with two dollars in it.
     I was really craving a cup of coffee and didnt want to use my debit card, so I asked "AJ" if I could use her dollars and would pay her back on Friday. 
    She thought about it and said, "Just one dollar mom, not two dollars." I asked her if she had two dollars and she said "from Nana" with a look of 'duh' on her face.
Amazing that she understands the concept of one-one that if I borrowed one dollar she would still have one left,  She is smarter than me I feel. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Experiences are Memory Makers

Ever since "AJ" was born, we have taken a trip to Kraynaks in Sharon, Pa for Easter and Christmas Lanes.  This year was no different. (Also we go early in the season so we can go more than once).

Two weeks ago we went to Easter Lane and got a big kick out of watching "AJ's" reactions change as she gets older. The first thing that we saw when we walked in was "Dora" in a spring shower and she is our current favorite. Our other favorite display was the "Sesame Street/Muppet" Wild West Show.  If you live close to it , check it out because it is fun and FREE!

At gas being almost $3.50 a gallon to make it worth your while, be sure to also check out Daffin's Candy, Philadelphia Chocolate, The Shop at O'Neil Coffee (good stuff, trust me), and the $3.00 theater.  All of these shops are in Sharon and have unique offerings.

PS>  Dont tell my friends at "Hershey" I am sending you elsewhere for chocolate

PPS> There is a factory tour at Philadelphia Chocolates on April 9 from 9-4...maybe worth the trip that weekend.

"Chuck E Cheese"....for parenting help? Why yes please.

One of our favorite places to go since last summer when we went with 'Uncle' in Erie is "Chuck E Cheese".  When we first went "AJ" liked the games and the show, but hated the big guy.  Now she requests going there and both sides of the family  readily oblige.

I was doing some research on the place for work about locations of the restaraunt when I discovered that "Chuck E Cheese" has reward charts and a report card program where you can earn free tokens.  I think if you are already a fan of the place or are able to go there using coupons and a spending limit (it can get expensive if you let it) this is a great parenting tip.

Here's to printing the potty chart at our house and giving it a go this week...we are so close to being trained any incentive will do.

Go to to check out the training charts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Biggest Loser"

This past fall our family was challenged to a "biggest loser" competition and I readily accepted the challenge. I made a few small changes to my life (I've slipped up on some of those changes) but still managed to lose 35 lbs. 

Here is my statement in public that we wish as a family not just to lose weight but to begin to make some healthier choices.
     1. Pack lunches - get recipes and supplies to make them fun, also the plan is to pack them the night before so there is less chance for convenience packing
     2. Walk a little everyday - do some form of exercise be it playing outside, doing "Wii Fit" or walking at the mall
     3. Try a new recipe or food once a week. Just like preschool you must try a bite, they say it takes ten tries before you can decide if you like something.

This weeks recipe was strawberry and strawberry mango puree made warm like soup... it rocked....

"Dora" and more...

For anyone who has spent hours watching the "Nick Jr. Dora the Explorer" show knows there are a few episodes where Dora and her pal Boots jump into books to become involved with the characters on the page.

A few nights ago we caught "AJ" trying to jump into her bible puzzle book to the page with Jesus and the children.  When we asked what she was doing she just looked at us and said "jumping in the book." When we asked why, she said "to play with the kids." 

It was so cute and a hard lesson to teach  that she couldnt jump into the book with the kids like Dora.  But that we could pretend to play with Jesus and the kids anyway.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

In celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday I sent "AJ" to school with felt food.  I made her green eggs and ham.  She was so excited and was already asking people this morning, if they liked them "in a box, with a fox".  If anyone wants some felt food, I have made quite a bit, let me know, it is going to become a fundraiser for some of the churches I work with (pictures to follow posts soon).  

Dont forget to read with a child today, yours or share with kids somewhere... I know we will be reading our whole Seuss collection before the night is out.

Thank you to the family members who supplied "AJ" her wardrobe and accessories for school today for Cat in the Hat day... 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Out of the mouthes of babes...

"AJ" is quite expressive with her vocabulary and creative with her explanations of the things in her life. I decided to write some down before they are gone.

1. In the morning, just like her momma, "AJ" likes to wake up on her own accord.  Choosing her wake up time makes her happy. As of late she has been choosing her morning catch phrase to be "No wake up me"

2. "I go work" Since both parents work "AJ" likes to play work. Her dad works at Subway and at a local daycare where she says he feeds applesauce to babies which is what she now wants to do. If you ask her where her daddy works she just replies, "Subay, feeds applesauce to babies" (spelling indicates pronunciation) and marches on.

Take Care of Yourself

This is the first of my parenting entries...
     Here is my disclaimer . .. I am by no means a parenting expert and am not the "Supernanny" (although we are both glasses wearing, intelligent women). I parent my child through the advice of the many mothers in my circle, my family, doctor, pastors, and friends as well as commonsense.

A major thing parents I know forget is to take care of themselves. We all know our job is to care for our chidlren and provide for their basic needs. This can at times be a very daunting task, physically, emotionally, and financially.

We as parents needs to find ways to care for ourselves in order to care for our children better. This is not a new concept and an idea that I am reminded of often even in my own life.

We need to take time for ourselves and stick to it. Here are some of my current favorite ways to take care of yourself.

1. Read (even for ten minutes) - get lost in the lives of characters and a life that is not your own. My favorite author for years has been Robin Jones Gunn author of the Christy Miller Series and Sisterchick books. If you must you can read a parenting magazine or book.

2.  Craft - crochet, knit, paint, current craft is making felt food for "AJ's" kitchen and friends. I know its for her, but sewing is relaxing.

3. Scrapbook - ok I guess its crafting, but there is something calming about cutting and glueing with pictures and pretty paper.

4. Cook - I used to cook fattening stuff and still do at times, but now when I am stressed I try a new recipe and hope for healthy (sometimes). Trying new foods is a way to take care of yourself.

5. Walk - alone or with a kid in a stroller. Enjoy the scenery and breathe deeply. Its exercise, and fresh air is good for the soul.

6. Laugh - at yourself, with your kids, at a movie. "America's Funniest..." always gets me going. Its good for your sould to have a really good deep laugh.

Give the ideas a try or do some of your own, most importantly take care of yourself to take care of your kids.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blog Me

This is my first attempt at a blog. It will be my way to share ideas with family and friends. It will also be a way to share links to other great blogs I love and follow (and hope you will too).

Our family of three is always on the move, and finding new experiences is one of my favorite things to do. The newest experience we had was finding that our local mall has a family fun night the third Tuesday of every month.  My daughter for privacy sake will be referred to as "AJ" in this blog.

This month we participated in the Movie Mile (2 laps around the white tiles on the mall floor) and got entered for a chance to win passes to the movies and pizza. Each time we came past the sign-up table there was a juggler, juggling different things. "AJ" got so excited to see what was next. We didn't get a phone call about tickets the next day, so I'm guessing we didn't win.  Maybe next month.

If you are in the Venango County area, go to the Cranberry Mall and check out the Family Fun Nights... It was a cheap and fun event.