Friday, December 18, 2009

Winner of the Squeeballs Party Game

I used a random generation is the winner is commenter #2.

kwr221 said...

And I tweeted!

December 14, 2009 1:28 PM

I will be in contact with you today. Feel free to me, please email at Let me know your name and address and whether you want to receive the game on Wii or DS.

Thank you to everyone who participated. Feel free to come by and check out future giveaways.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Last Day to Enter to Win a Squeeballs Party Game

You have until 11:59 p.m. to get your entry in.  Click HERE  for the post with all the details.  I have turned off comments for this post to make sure everyone gets their entry in the right place.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Giveaway!!! Win a Squeeballs Party game either on WII or DS!

The Squeeballs Party giveaway is sponsored by Performance Designed Products is the manufacturer of the game. PDP sent me a DS game to review and we have had an amazing time playing game.

Squeeballs are 12 toys that are manufactured on a secret island somewhere in the Pacific. Before they can be sold to children around the world, the Squeeballs must be fully put to the the point of destruction! You can blow up, cook, slice, bat, bowl, shoot and bounce the Squeeballs. The game features a unique collection of 11 party games, each taking place in a different environment from lava-filled canyons, bowling alleys and kitchens to science labs and snow-capped mountains. As the game progresses and more challenges are met - each one more difficult than the last - the game showcases more than 150 unique challenges. The game is available for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS/DS Lite/DSi, Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The Wii version features 11 party games; other versions vary in content. "Squeeballs Party" is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) with the descriptors "Cartoon Violence" by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The game retails for $19.99. Find more information at

The object of the game was to see how much damage the Squeeballs can take. We were shooting them at targets, striking them down in bowling, hitting them with bats, and so much more. There are 70 mini-games on DS and 150 on Wii. It retails for only $19.99 and it is a great deal considering the hours of play. Definitely a bang for your buck!

TO ENTER TO WIN: Performance Designed Products will send one lucky reader of this blog a Squeeballs game either on Wii or DS – your pick! To enter, please leave a comment under this post telling me who do you play video games with. (I play with my nine year old.) Leave your email address so we have a way of contacting you. Enter by December 17 at 11:59 p.m. Open to U.S. addresses only.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis and Being a Mother

Raising Children in this day and age is tough enough, but add chronic illness to the mix, and you have a whole of emotional and physical challenges to deal with in addition to what you already have to do. The hardest part for many mothers is that RA hits them in their childbearing years, and quite often, it does not affect fertility. Many women will go into remission while they are pregnant and this can last up to a month after giving birth.

Taking care of an infant or toddler when you have RA is physically challenging and the lifting and moving can cause extra strain on your joints. There are several sources for parents struggling with physical disabilities, including Parents With Disabilities Online, started by a mother with cerebral palsy. There, you can also section on assistive devices such as child safety locks made for people with dexterity problems. /

One of the most difficult things for me as I watch my children grow up is that I worry about my physical limitations and I often feel guilty about that. At some level I focus more on the things I cannot do and how imperfect I am and I often forget about the meaningful experiences I have with my children. Perhaps, being more involved in the day-to-day activities of family life teaches them responsibility and allows them to grow up into more capable and self-reliant people and those are skills that will benefit them when they go out into the real world.

The other thing worry how I have is how many disease affects my children and I worry because I know my son worries. He is almost ten and he has so many questions mostly about whether I will be around when he is older and whether he will have RA. I explain that the chances of him having RA are small and that the disease will most certainly not kill me. I have learned the best thing I do for him is be truthful. The baby will have his own questions when he is older, but for him, it will be different because he will have known me with RA, but my tween, he knew me when I was healthy and it is important for him to know that I will be all right and why is something that keeps him happy so I choose to be honest with him even about my difficulties.

Rheumatoid arthritis has taught me better parenting if anything. It has taught me that parenting is about unconditional love, patience, talking to my children and treating them like they are capable, and teaching them to be good, kind and responsible human beings. It has also taught me to be a better role model in showing them that the bad moments can easily be overcome with love and laughter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winner of the Toy Tuesday Giveway!!!

Today is officially Toy Tuesday!

A huge thanks to the 145 people who entered this awesome Toy Tuesday giveaway. Bill Me Later has picked the winner of yesterday’s giveaway and that winner is:

SB with Insert Title Here (Random McRandompants) is the winner of a $250 gift card to Little Tikes and will have a $500 donation made to a local children’s hospital in her name, too! Because you left an email, the sponsor (Bill Me Later) will contact you directly.

Winner’s Comment: My LO is still technically an infant, rather than a toddler, but she is already enjoying the Duplos, if for no other reason than that they're fun to bang together. Growing up, I always loved my Fisher Price Little People playsets. (Yep, we had the old school barn that would make the 'mooing' sound when you opened the door.)

You have yet an another opportunity to win. Head over to Elizabeth’s blog at Table 4 Five for another opportunity to win a $250 giftcard – this time to Toys R US- and a $500 gift donation to your local charity.

And if you did not win, remember that today is Toy Tuesday over at Bill Me Later (so everyone is a winner!) It is a one day sale held at Bill Me Later’s website. You will find all kinds of amazing deals to wrap up you holiday shopping from stores like Toys R Us, Walmart, eToys, Overstock, Step 2 and many more.

And for those of you who do not know what Bill Me Later is- it is a quick and easy way to shop and pay without using your credit card. To use Bill Me Later, all you to do is select Bill Me Later as your payment method at your merchant checkout. You will answer a few quick questions, accept the terms and you are done. Approval takes a few second and you will receive your bill in the mail or online, whichever option you pick.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Toy Tuesday Giveaway!!! Win a $250 gift card to Little Tikes!

Toy Tuesday Giveaway!!!

This giveaway is sponsored by Bill Me Later. For official contest rules, click here.

On December 8, Bill Me Later is hosting “Toy Tuesday”. Visit to find great deals on the holiday’s most wanted toys and gifts from leading retailers such as Toys “R” Us,, Step 2, Little Tikes, eToys,, FAO Schwarz, HP,, MacMall, Mercantila and more.

As a part of Toy Tuesday, I will be blogging about Toddler Toys for Toddler Boys, and the end of this article, you have an opportunity to comment on your favorite toddler toys, past or present, and what types of toys you will be purchasing for the holidays. One lucky commenter will win a $250 gift card to Little Tikes and will have a $500 gift card donated to a local children’s charity of their choice. Giving…what could be better?

Toddler Toys for Toddler Boys

Toddlers love to play and they love to move. They are very active and very curious. Toddlers are constantly on the go and quite often, it is difficult to find toys that can keep them entertained for more than five minutes. As a mother to two boys, I have some secrets on the types of toys that can keep your boy toddler interested.

Boys that love things that roll. Any toy that rolls is interesting to a toddler boy. It can be a ball or it can be a car. My toddler has a big thing for trucks and trains. If you interested in finding toys for toddler boys that roll and move as they much as they do, Little Tikes is definitely a place to visit for the holidays. Any of the ride-on toys can be a hit with toddler boys who are constantly on the move.

Construction toys. Boys love to build no matter their age. They also like to knock down things, and my living room has paid on daily basis with all the things my toddler knocks down. If you would like to save your living room coffee table, check out wide variety of construction toys by Little Tikes and Step 2 have this holiday season.

Play Centers. Play centers can always keep a child occupied and busy for hours because they allow children to role play and we all know toddlers have wonderful imaginations. Further, they are educational because they allow children to explore. A Real Projects Workshop from Step 2 would keep a toddler entertained for hours and is a toy that would still be interesting until about age six. From kitchens to construction kits to doll houses, Step 2 has a variety of play centers to keep your toddler interested well into the school age years.

Educational toys. There are a wide selection of age appropriate educational toys that you can pick out from many major toy retailers such as ToysRUs and Walmart. Anything that teaches colors, songs, numbers or the alphabet can be a big hit with both toddler boys and toddler girls. Puzzles are great at teaching toddlers shapes and memory and matching skills. Board books, pop-up books and even sound books can easily catch a toddler’s interest. Interactive sound books can teach memory skills while teaching a variety of shapes, colors, numbers, concepts, and sounds.

TO ENTER Toy Tuesday, leave a comment telling me what toddler toys have been a hit at your home either currently or in the past, and what toys you will be purchasing this holiday season. Also, please leave your email address so that you will be contacted tomorrow by me and/or the sponsor of this event to arrange for your prize and your charity selection.You have until 11:59 p.m. tonight to get your entry in.

The winner will be randomly generated and the gift cards will come from the sponsor directly. I will announce the winner by 1 p.m. EST tomorrow.

For another opportunity to win and participate in this awesome giveaway, visit Elizabeth tomorrow at Table 4 Five.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bill Me Later Giveway - Win a $250 giftcard to Little Tikes

Tomorrow, I will be giving away a $250 gift card for Little Tikes courtesy of Bill Me Later's Toy Tuesday event. Also, the winner will have the oppurtunity to give a $500 gift card to the charity of their choice. For more info, check out my previous post where I blogged about this. Come by tomorrow for your oppurtunity to win.  Details will follow in tomorrow's post.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Amazing event and giveaway sponsored by Bill Me Later

Bill Me Later is hosting Toy Tuesday on December 8, 2009.

What is Bill Me Later?

Bill Me Later is an easy and quick way to shop without having to use your credit card. To take advantage of Bill Me Later, choose the Bill Me Later option as you method of payment at your merchant’s website, answer a few quick question questions, accept the terms, and you are done. Your approval will only take a few minutes, and you will either receive a bill in the mail or online, whatever your preference.

What is the Toy Tuesday Event All About?

Bill Me Later wants you to be apart of a really great campaign that introduces to new bloggers and new toys, and as part of this event, they are hosting an amazing giveaway. For official contest rules, visit

On December 8, visit the official Toy Tuesday page to find great deals on the holiday’s most wanted toys and gifts from leading retailers such as Toys “R” Us,, Step 2, Little Tikes, eToys,, FAO Schwarz, HP,, MacMall, Mercantila, One Step Ahead and more.

What is the giveaway all about?

Bill Me Later is giving way Twelve $250 gift cards for Christmas shopping through a panel of bloggers who will be introducing you to toy trends and where to buy for all the best bargains this Christmas.

In addition, by clicking on the Toy Tuesday link, you will get some great deals and discounts.

Here’s the line up of bloggers who are hosting the giveaways. While the first three giveaways are officially closed, you still have several opportunities, from November 30 through December 8, to win a $250 gift card from one of these retailers: Walmart, Toys R Us, Overstock, HP,, FAO Schwarz, eBay. Etc. All you have to do is visit the blog of the day and enter. Each giveaway will only last 24 hours.

November 27th – Ellen Seidman – Love That Max

November 28th – Cassidy Engle – First Time Around Blogger

November 29th – Elizabeth – A Nut in a Nutshell

November 30th – Linsey B. Knerl – Lille Punkin Reviews

December 1st – Carissa Rogers – Good N Crazy

December 2nd – Linda Sellars – Short Pump Preppy

December 3rd – Kim Becker – Mommy Knows

December 4th – Jodi Grundig – Moms Favorite Stuff

December 5th – Laurie Turk – Tip Junkie

December 6th – Briana – Bargain Briana

December 7th - Lana Barhum – Loving It, Loving It

December 8th – Elizabeth Edwards – Table 4 Five

Bill Me Later is also sending a $500 gift card or product donation to a hospital, school, or charity of the winner’s choice.

I am especially excited about having an opportunity to be apart of this great event.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Examiner Cleveland: Topics that affect moms everywhere

Today’s moms are busier than ever before with the demands that they have. Their demands come from every direction: their jobs, their children’s schools, and their home lives. Quite often, the only peace and quiet mothers get is when they crawl into bed at night. And even then, the majority lay awake thinking about the next day, stressing about money, and worrying about all aspects of their family’s lives.

I have been a mother for what seems like an eternity. For me, being a mother is a wonderful gift even though sometimes, I really good use a break. When I started writing for the Examiner, I never imagined the type of issues that affected mothers everywhere, stay-at-home moms and working moms alike. For every mother, it is a balancing act and every mother questions her abilities.

Please come by and visit me my Examiner homepage and read along. Please feel free to comment with any suggestions, ideas or just whatever is on your mind. Thank you.

Check out my latest articles.

Working moms are at a higher risk for depression; they are also less likely to seek treatment A 2008 Working Mom Magazine survey found 91% of working mothers reported that they had signs of depression. The study also revealed that:...Keep Reading »

Recognizing working mom burnout, part 1 Being a working mother is like running a marathon everyday. You work long hours and you take care of your children and it certainly takes a lot of...Keep Reading »

Preparing yourself for Black Friday shopping You are yet to get the circulars that clog up your mailbox and you really don’t have time to review them all. If you want to be prepared ahead...Keep Reading »

Crockpot tips for the Working Mom #1: Fried Chicken in the Crockpot  If you think you can only make soups and stews in your Crockpot, this fried chicken recipe will surprise you. This recipe needs a little bit of... Keep Reading »

The slow cooker and the working mother If you are a working mother, you dread coming home after a long day and preparing dinner for your family. Quite often, you end up making the same...Keep Reading »

Ways to ease the stress of the work-life balance There is no question that being a working mom is stressful and tiring work. The working mothers that you see on television shuffling their children...Keep Reading »

Tips for Sighting Bad Daycares As a working mother, there are so many issues and challenges that you come across on a daily basis. One of the most significant is sending your...Keep Reading »

Tips for sighting good daycare centers  Picking the right day care for your children can be practically stressful for working mothers. Dropping off your child to daycare every morning for...Keep Reading »

Tips for choosing the right daycare One of the hardest choices a working mother must make is choosing the right daycare, and feeling at ease about doing so. Choosing the right daycare...Keep Reading »

How to Monitor Your Children's Internet Use John Robinson’s book titled Anyone You Want Me to Be tells the story of the first Internet serial killer. Anyone can pretend to be anything on...Keep Reading »

How to spend quality time with your children when you work outside the home When you work outside the home, it can be quite difficult to find a balance between work and family. Quite often, your job will interfere with the...Keep Reading »

When a working mother lives with an arthritis-related condition More than 130 million Americans suffer from chronic pain conditions. Women are more likely to suffer from a chronic arthritis-related condition such...Keep Reading »

How do working moms do it all? Every working mom is asked how does she do it all, and quite often, the working mom asks herself the very same question. What does “doing it...Keep Reading »

Surviving the 9 to 5 as a working mom More than 50% of mothers with small children work outside the home, and the main reason that these mothers work outside the home is financial need....Keep Reading »

Wal-Mart to offer some relief during the upcoming holiday shopping season The current state of our economy has forced many of us to start our Christmas shopping early and it is estimated that 70%...Keep Reading »

Lack of common sense or zero tolerance? A first grader who brings a camping utensil to school to use at lunch gets suspended for 45 days due to his...Keep Reading »

Working moms can stop feeling guilty "It seems that no educated modern woman can have a baby without suffering agonies of self-doubt about the meaning of...Keep Reading »

Sleep strategies for working moms A 2007 Sleep in America poll found that: Working moms sleep less than 6 hours per night on weeknights and are less...Keep Reading »

Taking time for yourself According to Reuters Health, mothers of young children who feel they are not getting enough emotional support or...Keep Reading »

Connecting with local moms Parenting is a tough job, and sometimes, keeping a work-life balance can be difficult. To connect with other...Keep Reading »

Tips for working moms to help maintain balance As moms, we spend our days trying to keep a game face while trying to do it all and find some balance. Every working mother wishes for more hours in...Keep Reading »

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Buzzing Through Book

Photo Credit:

Picking toys is not easy and there is a toy website called ebeanstalk, dedicated to selecting good, safe learning toys and toys for a 1 year old. BUT they need help from moms like me to help pick the toys. The toy they sent is called Buzzing Though Book by Manhattan Toy, one of their many unique toys.

Here is the deal on this toy: My little guy is fourteen months and loved the fun characters, bold colors, and the mirror. The Buzzing Through Book tells a story of a be who buzzes through the jungle, the sea, and much more. The bee is interactive in that it travels through the book as you tell the story of the many places your child and the bee visit. Each place the bee visits has hidden characters that your child can explore and because it is a soft cloth book, it is perfect for little hands.

Some neat things are the book:

  • It is washable! Yes, washable and you know how messy babies are at that age.

  • There are pop-up pictures, crinkly pages, and mirrors! All things babies between the ages of 15 to 18 months love!

  • Your child will quickly learn how to navigate the bee to move from page to page though the holes.

My little guy instantly feel in love with the buzzing bee which is the star of the book.  It did not take look for him to learn to guide the bee through the pages and buzz along with the story.

You can find the Buzzing Though Book at

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unexpected Blessings by Roxanne Black (Book Review)

THOSE OF US who face chronic illness remember the before and after moments: the day the phone rang, or the doctor walked into your hospital room, and it was clear that life as you had known it was about to change. You discover that you have cancer or multiple sclerosis or that your child has been stricken with leukemia. You hang up the phone or walk out of the hospital feeling as if your world has been transformed. It’s not simply fear that makes you so disoriented—it’s because you are in the midst of experiencing a true glimpse of the great preciousness and precariousness of life. Falling ill is like joining a private fraternity—one you would never enter voluntarily, but whose membership reveals profound truths that most of us are too busy rushing through our days to consider. In the midst of everyday life, you are suddenly jolted by your own fallibility and finiteness, by the fact that you are no more durable than the shoes on your mortal feet.

I start my review of Roxanne Black’s book with a quote that I can truly relate to as the first anniversary of my official diagnosis comes closer, and years of suffering and looking for answers do not compare to the moment of knowing – finally knowing that you become so disorientated – relieved that the truth is finally there and wondering what lies ahead. “Falling ill is like joining a private fraternity—one you would never enter voluntarily, but whose membership reveals profound truths that most of us are too busy rushing through our days to consider.” No words could be truer.

At the age of fifteen, Roxanne was diagnosed with lupus, a chronic inflammatory condition that attacks the vital organs of the human. For any teenager, this is a scary experience, and for Roxanne, she was forced to find connections with others to help her to understand what it was she was going through. She started a support group from her hospital bed called “Friends Health Connection,” which is now a nationwide community that matches people who have similar conditions, whether it is cancer, lupus or any other chronic condition.

Roxanne has had a long journey, which included two kidney transplants, she has met and inspired some many people. Roxanne’s mission, for the last twenty years, to help turn her condition into something positive. She recalls the words of her now deceased mother from years prior telling her that maybe that her being diagnosed happened so she could help others, and those words remind her why everyday. No matter who she’s met, whether it was a young girl in a New Jersey hospital who had lost her mother to AIDs, and was HIV positive or whether is the most inspiring of people, like the late Christopher Reeve, Roxanne does not stop believing in extraordinary things, heroism and hope. She reminds us that healing comes from the heart.

You can purchase Unexpected Blessings through Penguin Group (USA) for $15.00.

For more information on Roxanne Black and her book Unexpected Blessings, please her website.

For more information about lupus, visit the Lupus Foundation of America website.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Follow Friday #6: Three Blogs I have been smitten about

The American English translation for “smitten” is feeling of love or affection. The American’s guide to speaking British can give you some insight on following British blogs and enjoying the language as a whole. The last few days have been extremely busy for me at the work and quite often the stress can force me to “throw a spanner in the works” (an expression that means to wreck something).

If you want to enjoy British blogs, you must know the language, sometimes that language sounds rude or funny to us bloody Americans, but the British are my kind of people - straight forward and brutally honest. Watching the BBC America and shows like Torchwood (I miss Torchwood), Martha Jones, and Dr. Who gives you a great appreciation of brutal honesty and straightforwardness. And my favorite sentence enhancer is “bloody” as I find it to be one of the most useful words in British English. Isn’t it just charming to hear someone say "bloody marvellous" or "bloody awful". Could anything be more interesting? Well course, the British are interesting. If we had not send them packing in 1776, well, we would all be saying bloody marvellous or bloody awful with that amazingly bloody accent. Okay, well then, here are my Follow Friday Blogs I have been smitten about (read that with a British accent.)

Random Acts of Reality If anything could be more bloody honest, it would be our some what anonymous hero Tom Reynolds. A perfect name for a Brit, isn’t it? Reynolds is an EMT with the London Ambulance Service. Apparently, as Reynolds tells, his blog is “also, number one search result for ‘Womble porn’. All names have be changed to protect the guilty. This Blog was previously known as "Why I Hate Humanity" but the antipsychotic medication seems to have kicked in. All opinions on this website are mine alone, and may not reflect those of the L.A.S or other ambulance crews.” Yes, Sir Thomas is an interesting gent, isn’t he?

Read his latest post titled “Steve’s Office” and make sure you keep your British slang to English translator handy. Don’t forget you can always rely on google.

Sitting outside Steve’s office always makes me feel like a naughty schoolboy.

I’m guessing that it’s the old wooden panelling that makes me feel as if I’m sitting outside a headmaster’s office awaiting the cane. Not that I ever did such a thing when I was a child - after all in the school I went to the headmaster’s office had a PVC door.

But there is something about the dark wood, the smell of the varnish and the dim lighting that sparks some childhood memory that I never had. It’s something archetypal.

This feeling isn’t helped by Melanie staring at me over her computer monitor. She’s tapping away at something obviously far more important than me. When I arrived I tried to start up a conversation but she just told me to take a seat and that ‘Mr. Hughes’ will see me shortly.

I’ve never called Steve anything other than Steve. It’s a bit hard to call your boss ‘mister’ anything when you’ve gotten horrendously drunk in a Japanese bar and had to bail him out from police custody after he tried, and succeeded, to climb the outside of a church. The climb was impressive, even more so because he could barely walk at the time. During his ascent all I could think about was wether I should try to catch him if he fell. I didn’t want to break my arms trying to save him if it would do him no good.

For the rest of this bloody colorful post, you will have to venture to Tom’s blog.

Girl With A One Track Mind

Apparently, girls have a one track minds as do males. I leave you to guess what Zoe’s all one-tracked about. Zoe’s blog is filled with some of that brutal honesty that the Brits are famous for, more detailed information about her sex life than you dared to ask (aren’t you glad you aren’t Zoe’s mum?), and her views on anything and everything.

Here is Zoe in her own words:

Needless to say it's graphic, but then, that's shagging for you: it's a rather sticky thing, no matter how you approach it. I decided to write about sex in my blog because I felt that the feminist and female-centred perspective is missing from mainstream media. A sexist double-standard about male vs female sexuality still exists, and which chastises women if they express sexual wants and needs; I hoped my blog would provide a counter-balance to this old-fashioned attitude.

 Here is an excerpt from a July 14, 2009 post titled “Kiss.”

The first time I met him face-to-face I wanted to kiss him.

Actually, I had wanted to kiss him for some weeks; each conversation we had over email, IM, or Skype increased my desire, so that by the time I finally saw him in the flesh I was almost craven with my need to feel his lips against mine.

Ever present in my mind, though, was that the feeling might not be mutual: how can you know if there’s real chemistry until you meet offline? Not to mention, of course, the fact that he’d recently learned of my Girl with a One Track Mind infamy, and I was anxious to show him another side of me, so that he would be getting to know me, Zoe, not the obsessed-with-shagging ‘notorious’ sex diarist.

But I still wanted to kiss him, god how I wanted that.

Zoe’s taken a little hiatus, but I am sure she’ll be back soon embarrassing her parents and letting us know what we want to hear.

A Welsh View

Ah yes, the Welsh are such interesting people. Okay, the only encounter I have had with the Welsh is Gwen Cooper from Torchwood and my TV is not that big. However, if you are interested in creativity that will allow you to laugh your bum (butt) off, here is an interesting video on how to open a bottle of wine with your shoe.

And to think, all these years, I was opening all those bottles of wine wrong.

On an interesting note, my brother-in-law cracks nuts with his fists. It serves for an interesting and quiet evening with the family. Apparently, we are not really that posh (high class).

Well these are my top British/Welsh blogs that I have been smitten about. What are your yours?

Tips for Sighting Good Daycares

Picking the right day care for your children can be practically stressful for working mothers. Dropping off your child to daycare every morning for strangers to comfort while you head off to make a living and provide for your family can be quite stressful. However, knowing that your child is in a warm, friendly, and safe environment can go a long ways to ease some of that tension. Here are some signs of a good daycare center and the things you should be looking for when finding a suitable daycare for your children.

Read More.

Friday, October 30, 2009

How to Monitor Your Children’s Internet Use

Photo Credit: 

John Robinson’s book titled Anyone You Want Me to Be tells the story of the first Internet serial killer. Anyone can pretend to be anything on the Internet and teens and younger children are particularly vulnerable especially if they send out personal information and photographs of themselves. As parents, it is our responsibility to know what our children are doing and with whom. It is important to talk to our children and without scaring them, we need to remind them of the potential outcomes of their actions on the Internet. Further, we need to be extra vigilant in order to protect our children from predators and even cyber bullies.

So, what can parents that they have not already done? It is simply not enough just to block websites or ban your children from certain activities on the internet. Remind yourself that no matter how responsible you think your child is, you still need to warn them about the dangers that lurk on the internet and you need to it often. Moreover, your child does not have to use the internet at home. They can use the internet at the local library, at school, or at a friend’s house. Therefore, monitoring your child’s internet usage at home is not enough, but teaching your child how to respond to certain situations can go further than you think.

Read More.

I am going to be doing a book review!

Unexpected Blessings is about Roxanne Black, who at age 15 was diagnosed with lupus - an inflammatory disease that attacks the vital organs of the body. As a teen, this was quite a scary and terrifying experience and Roxanne wanted very much to connect with others who understand what it was she was feeling. Roxanne formed a support group “Friends Health Connection,” a national organization that brings together people with similar conditions.

Unexpected Blessings is Roxanne’s way of helping others and here she brings to lit her own personal story and the stories of courageous others. Roxanne’s mission, each day for the last twenty years, is to make something positive out of her experience.

You can purchase Unexpected Blessings through Penguin Group (USA) for $15.00.

For more information on Roxanne Black and her book Unexpected Blessings, please her website.

When I asked to do this review, I was very touched as I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia so I can relate to Roxanne’s story. I will have this review up late next week.

"Roxanne Black used her own life challenges with illness as a motivating force to reach out and help others. She has touched thousands of lives and continues to serve as an inspiration to all who know her." - Deepak Chopra author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How to keep your kids safe this Halloween

When you were child, the idea of dressing up, roaming the neighborhood, and begging for candy seemed too good to be true. As an adult, the thought of your children doing that is kind of scary. Halloween is supposed to be a time full of fun and laughter, but this is also a time where safety precautions must be followed to avoid tragedy.

The scariest thing about Halloween is not the candy, as many parents think, but the traffic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 89 children killed as a result of Halloween traffic incidents between 1975 and 1996.

Read More at the Examiner Cleveland.

Photo Credit:

How to spend quality time with your children when you work outside the home

Photo Credit.

When you work outside the home, it can be quite difficult to find a balance between work and family. Quite often, your job will interfere with the quality time you should have with your family, your children in particular. For a working mother, obtaining a work-life balance can mean sacrificing your quality time with your children, but it does not have to be that way. Let's face it; you can never get that lost time back and your children will not be young forever. It is important to take the time to know your children because before long, they will be teenagers and as teenagers, they won’t want anything to do with you.


Friday, October 23, 2009

When a working mother lives with an arthritis-related condition

More than 130 million Americans suffer from chronic pain conditions. Women are more likely to suffer from a chronic arthritis-related condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia. Rheumatoid arthritis is 2 to 3 times more common in women than men, and usually strikes women between the ages of ages of 40 and 60, but can develop as early as their 20s and 30s. Fibromyalgia also affects women in the same age group and usually peaks around age 35, striking a huge group of working mothers with young children.

Arthritis-related conditions can affect individuals of all ages, but often they strike women who are in their 30s and 40s who have heavy work and home responsibilities, this according to Androniki Bili, MD, MPH, of Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa. "We are looking at women who have young children and who are bread winners or equal partners in bringing in income."


Monday, October 19, 2009

Ah Shucks! I won an award!

Kelly over at A Day in the Crazy Life has given me an award! She must know how much I love awards. Well, I promised that I would display the award proudly and in order to do that, I must tell my readers ten things that they may not know about me, and I apologize, if at times, my life is sappy and sentimental. So, without further ado:

Ten Things You May Not Know About Me (Next time, don’t ask!)

1) I cry way too much! I cry when I watch commercials, the news, and even cartoons. Anything sweet, sad or emotional sends out the waterworks.
2) I love ribs (baby back beef ribs to be exact) – never mind I need to lose a few pounds and I should eat healthier. I love ribs and I eat them at least once a month.  I have even found some creative recipes so I don't get bored.

3) I hate when I watch my DVR’ed episode of Days of Our Lives and people try to talk to me. By this I mean – call me on the phone, come to visit and ring my doorbell, or even simply talk to me.

4) I hate doing dishes. That is why I own a dishwasher.

5) I am brutally honest.

6) I have not talked to my brother in over a year and I don't want to.

7) I am quite the romantic.

8) I hate dwelling on the past and I hate people who do (minus not talking to my brother).

9) The hardest thing for me being is working mom is how much I miss my children. Sometimes, I cry on the way to work because I miss them so much.

10) I have in the recent year learned that the value of money is overrated, and that there are things that are far more important than money. Many of us say that we feel that money isn’t important, but we don’t really mean it or understand that until we are tested.

I would like to pass on the award to:

RA Guy

Lana over at the Kids Did WHAT?

Overwhelmed Mom

Mallen over at Making Lemonade

Alica over at YaYa Stuff

Don’t forget to check out my latest Examiner Cleveland post about Working Moms Surviving the 9 to 5 routine.

Surviving the 9 to 5 as a working mom

Photo Credit:

More than 50% of mothers with small children work outside the home, and the main reason that these mothers work outside the home is financial need. For every mother, the decision to work is not an easy one nor is there a correct answer to whether a mother should or should not work outside the home. Every mother does what is best for her family, and deciding to work outside of the home brings with it issues of guilt, prioritization, and time management that can make the nine to five lifestyle difficult and stressful.

Working moms always feel like they are running two different races at the same time. When you are at work, you worry about the workload, meetings, and deadlines; when you are at home, you worry about balancing the family’s checkbook, tonight’s dinner, checking the children’s homework, and planning a weekend visit with your in-laws. While both worlds are not supposed to collide, they quite often do, and while you are at work, you will realize that you have missed the baby’s well-check appointment or while you are at home, you wonder how you will make the latest project deadline since you are unable to work any overtime this week.

From this working mother’s viewpoint, juggling and struggling involves both laughing and crying. Quite often, it can be exhausting, stressful and confusing. You will forget your mom’s birthday, or your child’s costume for the school play, or, that ever-important deadline at the office that ended up being handled at the very last minute. Moreover, you will eventually realize that supermom is myth and trying to make that myth reality will only further exhaust, stress and confuse you.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wal-Mart to offer some relief during the upcoming holiday shopping season

The current state of our economy has forced many to start our Christmas shopping early and it is estimated that 70% of consumers will start their holiday shopping before Halloween. It is always a good idea during stressful economic times to plan especially for the holidays - a time where you do not want to be strapped for money. Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer is now giving consumers some relief by offering 100 toys for $10 a piece during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Read More.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lack of common sense or zero tolerance?

A first grader who brings a camping utensil to school to use at lunch gets suspended for 45 days due to his school’s zero tolerance policy. Zero tolerance policies are being utilized by school districts all over the country as a result of the violence that came of Columbine and Virginia Tech in recent years.

According to USA Today, the purpose of zero tolerance policies is to eradicate prejudice and discrimination on the part of school officials. There is a strong consensus of parents, educators, and even legislators who feel that zero tolerance policies only promote inequality and injustice leading to much criticism and debate. The decision and policy that led to the suspension of six year old Zachary Christie of Delaware required that school officials practice zero tolerance “regardless of intent” and “not take into consideration a child’s age,” this according to CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod.


Read more at the Examiner Cleveland.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Working Moms Can Stop Feeling Guilty

"It seems that no educated modern woman can have a baby without suffering agonies of self-doubt about the meaning of motherhood." Danielle Crittenden of the National Review discussing Susan Chira’s A Mother’s Place: Taking the Debate About Working Mothers Beyond Guilt and Blame.

Working mothers can completely relate to Ms. Crittenden’s assertion, and "suffering agonies of self-doubt about the meaning of motherhood" is most commonly associated with working mom guilt. Dropping off your child to daycare for eight plus hours a day can take a toll on any parent, but for working moms the feelings of guilt are much stronger as a result of the expectations of society and even the portrayals of working mothers in the media and the corporate world. In addition, working moms feel even guiltier when they arrive home to the second shift and become too busy to spend time with their children.  READ MORE.


As many of you know, I am a Working Mom Examiner for the Examiner Cleveland edition.  As a working mom of many years, issues such as working mom guilt, work-life balance, and time management are all areas close to my heart. I appreciate your comments and your suggestions.  Be subscribe via email to receive updates.

Friday, October 9, 2009

More than half of working moms report that they sleep less six hours per night

A 2007 Sleep in America poll found that:

· Working moms sleep less than 6 hours per night on weeknights and are less likely to take naps during the day.

· More than half of working moms wake up feeling unrested.

· More than half say that they wake up during the night.

· 70% accept this and go about their day using caffeine as a means to keep themselves awake and alert.

Read More.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Taking time for yourself

According to Reuters Health, mothers of young children who feel they are not getting enough emotional support or help in caring for their children are at a three times higher risk of mental health issues compared to peers who feel they have enough support. In addition, 50% of mothers in the United States today work full-time and experience the stress of trying to do it all. This leads to feeling tired, overwhelmed, frustrated, and just feeling plain out-of-balance simply because mothers do not take time for themselves. Part of the problem is that many mothers simply do not want to ask for help.  READ MORE.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Connecting with local moms

Parenting is a tough job, and sometimes, keeping a work-life balance can be difficult. To connect with other parents dealing with the same issues or for agency help, information and support on being a working mom or other parent concerns, you can visit any of the following websites for more information.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The dinosaurs have invaded the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo!

That is the title for my latest Cleveland Examiner article.  Please be sure to check it out!

Photo: Edmontosaurus Baby (Cleveland Metroparks Zoo website.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Examiner Cleveland - Working Mom Examiner First Post

I am now a Working Mom Examiner for the Examiner Cleveland.  Here is my latest post titled Finding Balance and Keeping it all Together.   I welcome your suggestions and comments.  Please subscribe to get email updates when a new post is added.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Follow Friday #5: Three Blogs I Always Make Time to Stalk

As many of you know, I am a mother, a grad student, a legal assistant, a blogger, and much, much more. I wear many hats, and I have a busy life. I am always running from one place to other and my days do not end until after my entire household has long gone to bed. One thing I manage to do, despite all this craziness, is stalk your blogs, and there are three blogs in particular I always make time to stalk.

We Are That Family. Kristen will be celebrating her second blogversary on October 22, 2009. Kristen’s family is like any other family in America; they laugh, they cry, and they deal with disasters. Here is Kristen in her own words:

Through the years, I’ve been in different conversations and either said or someone said to me, “You know THAT family?” They don’t even have to say a name usually. My mind automatically pulls up THAT family.

You know the ones.

The family that always has troubles. Something out of the ordinary is always happening and they are usually followed by disaster.

Through almost two years of blogging, Kristen has blogged about “being THAT family” (yes, you know the ones), about parenting, faith and inspiration, and just plain good stuff. Be sure to check out Kristen’s page, and become a stalker follower. Kristen always has giveaways, including this recent one where she has partnered up with Hallmark. She has posted two cards and asked her readers to leave a comment telling which card is the funniest, and they will be entered to win $60 worth of greeting cards.

Creative Blog DesignsWho Put Me in Charge of These People? Texan Mama is a full-time stay at home mother raising four children. She hasn’t quite figured out where she is a country gal or a city girl. She shares with us the craziness of her days, and despite it all, she manages to keep and have an amazing sense of humor (to our benefit, of course). Here is an excerpt from a post titled “How to Have a Relaxing Vacation.”

How to Have a Relaxing Vacation

1. Do NOT bring your children.

2. Enjoy the good libations.

3. Eat out - don't cook for yourself.

4. Leave all the bills at home or set-up auto pay or something brilliant like that.

5. Do not bring your computer with you.

6. Wear sunscreen.

7. Only pack shoes you've worn at least a few times before.

8. Stay somewhere that you aren't afraid to touch everything or leave something out of place.

9. Have some alternate activities planned besides "watch tv". Not that you have to do them, but at least you can have a back-up plan.

10. Don't watch any sexy movies unless you've brought your sexy mate along with you.

This post is a perfect example of why I make time to stalk Texan Mama’s blog.

Hope Floats. Melissa spends most of her days making her family happy. As she tells us, quite often she fails miserably. Despite dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis and other conditions that come along with RA, she manages to start her day with a smile, tenacity, and a great sense of humor. She asks her readers to join her with ups and downs and her journey into the world.

Melissa’s sense of humor and resilience is evident in her posts. Here is an excerpt from a recent post tiled “Learned a Valuable Lesson Today…” (This is sure to be a crowd pleaser.)

You know how I've always wondered what is the correct pair of underwear to wear to the doctor? Well, I got the answer's any pair you don't mind your doctor seeing.

Which means my leopard print thong went over really well this morning. Especially when my 27 year old cutie doctor went to stick the pads to the electrical stimulation down my pants....(just typing that makes me shudder.) I'm sure he got quite the surprise when all he felt was cheek....

For more of Melissa’s stand-up comedy, go pay her a visit at Hope Floats.

Well folks, there are my three blogs I always make time to stalk. What are yours?

For more Follow Friday, posts click ---> HERE.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Keep on Blogging for Invisible Illness

Invisible Illness 2009 comes to a close today. It does not mean that if you suffer from an invisible illness or love someone who does you should stop blogging and stop talking about those invisible conditions. It estimated that 25% of the population from some kind of invisible disease. More than half of those people suffer from more than one condition. Only 7% of persons with an invisible condition will use a wheelchair, cane or crutches. The rest suffer in silence. Because of this, we encounter sociocultural indifference and support is limited. Moreover, many invisible diseases even remain controversial even by the standards of the medical community.

There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases that are known to the medical community, and the majority of those invisible conditions. Because of that, there is much indifference when it comes to cultural and social views of such conditions. For example, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are considered invisible diseases, but no one would ever question the limitations of those who suffer from those conditions. Yet, that happens for individuals who suffer from Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I know there will not be cures for many of the autoimmune diseases that exist, including RA, not in my lifetime at least. I know that Fibromyalgia, RA, and CFS are a part of my life and I have been for quite some time, and a cure is something that is currently out of reach, but I can lower my expectations. I can deal without a cure and I can live my life. However, I want more understanding for myself and for others who suffer from invisible conditions such as these. I don’t want to always explain to others how these conditions affect me, and how taking a vitamin or two, eating better, or even exercising isn’t going to make these diseases go away. These conditions are on their own schedule, and not mine.

So I ask of my fellow bloggers who suffer from an invisible illness or who have a loved one suffering from an invisible condition to keep blogging and keep making their voices heard. Awareness is the next thing to a cure.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2007

3. But I had symptoms since: 1998

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: not being able to be as alive as I used to be, especially when it comes to playing with my kids.

5. Most people assume: that my conditions are under control because I hide them so well.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Trying to pick up the baby to get him ready for daycare.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey’s and ER.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: The wonderful jar opener.

9. The hardest part about nights are: It can be hard to fall asleep because of the pain and the feelings of exhaustion.

10. Each day I take 20 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: I am still thinking about them.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: visible.

13. Regarding working and career: I wish that my conditions didn’t hinder my success, but they do.

14. People would be surprised to know: I am sick because I hide my conditions so well.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: asking for help, but I am learning one day at a time.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: talk about it, make it known, and push for awareness.

17. The commercials about my illness: make me crazy.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: just knowing what the day will bring. I can’t plan like I used to because I never know I will feel.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: working out daily and a lot of my favorite foods.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: mediating, praying and blogging.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: I would run, dance and sing and do all the things I can no longer physically do.

22. My illness has taught me: patience, acceptance and strength.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: people who spend money like crazy or don’t take of their bodies.

24. But I love it when people: give to charity and help others.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Admiration is the daughter of ignorance. ~Benjamin Franklin. I have learned not to admire and to enjoy what life has already given me.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: It is all about attitude.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how strong I am and how I patient I have become.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Told me I was beautiful, smart and funny.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I want there to someday be cures for my conditions so that my children never have to suffer as I have.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Happy, that someone else wants to know now important awareness is.

Find out more about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and the 5-day free virtual conference with 20 speakers Sept 14-18, 2009 at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Babies and Toddlers Buying Guide

Hey Moms and Dads: Are you stumped when it comes to shopping for the best products for your children. I am the biggest worrier on the planet. I worry about the safety of every product that comes into my home. The Babies and Toddlers Buying Guide is the answer for all those worries. The Babies and Toddlers Buying Guide comes to us from ShopWiki.

Whatever your needs are, you have come to right place to find any thing you need that is a reasonable price to fit your budget and you can compare what is the best bargain out there. The sky is the limit at the Babies and Toddlers Buying Guide. Let me give me an example of how the guide works. I am a mother to two boys so finding clothing for boys is always challenge because boys clothes don’t seem to last too long. Any mother of boys can tell you why, so it is important for me to be able to buy what I need at a reasonable price, and without leaving my home. That is an added perk because boys don’t like shopping; they is as torturous as taking away their video games.

So here I am at the Boys Buying Guide page. First, you are introduced to the sizes. Once you have the size you need, you able to decide what kind of clothing you are looking for: Casual or Dress, or you can look further, popular picks, outdoor clothing and underneath wear. I strolled over to the option on pajamas. When I got there, I was guided by store and price. I scrolled to the SpongeBob Squarepants by Nickelodeon - Toddler Boys Long Sleeved Pajamas, Blue, Yellow for $9 and clicked on that. I was directed to the Bargain Children’s Clothing’s website. I don’t know about you, but $9 is a great deal for a pair of PJs and Sponge Bob, my little guy will be in love.

And it is not just clothing, I also checked out the Nursery Furniture Buying guide. I clicked on the link for toddler beds, because it looks like my little one’s climbing out of his crib days might be over. I was given several options, but went for the theme beds option. (Babies and toddlers are easily amazed.) Again, I was given many options, and went for a reasonably price one at my favorite discount retailer, Walmart. I figured it would the job until my little monster gets destructive.

The Babies and Toddler Buying Guide is a great resource for anything and everything you need, clothing, baby furniture, baby gear, you name it – you will find what you are looking for a price that fits your budget.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Follow Friday #4: Three Blogs I Have Only Recently Started Stalking, So There will Be More Stalking

With the busy life I have, you would think I would not have time to stalk blogs, but I do! It is something I have time for on a daily basis. The good news is, since I let you know which blogs are interesting, you have more blogs to stalk. The bad news is that your blog could be next. Here are the latest blogs I have been stalking and a fair warning to these bloggers, I will be stalking these blogs more often.

Cinda Crawford’s Health Matters Show

The goal of the Health Matters Shown is provide information about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In addition to RA, I suffer from both these conditions and Cinda’s page has been new source for information on symptoms, treatments, remedies and an offering of hope for those of us who suffer from these two co-existing conditions.

From the Health Matters Show page: “The objective of the Health Matters Show is to provide great information about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the symptoms, treatments, and remedies, plus offer you hope of GETTING WELL. Hint... hint... my goal is to help people who want to get well, actually get well! You know in your heart of hearts, that what you want more than anything is to get well. You're tired of feeling sick all the time! 1) You want to find someone who really can help you, 2) You need specific help to find out what to do, what to learn, where to go, and more, 3) You're determined to keep searching until you find exactly that help! Visitors like you to the Health Matters Show get enthused and encouraged about the possibility of improving their health and about the work I'm doing. If you increase your chances of recovery from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you'll get excited and uplifted, too! And that, dear one, is your first step on the road to recovery. I wish that for you more than anything. You deserve the opportunity to heal and reclaim your life. At the Health Matters Show you'll find information and Get Well Health services to help you do that and to relieve your suffering once and for all. People Want Their Lives Back!”

For more information on coping or helping a loved one who is suffering from these conditions, please visit Cinda’s page. There may not yet be a cure for these conditions, but hope leads us closer to cure everyday.

Mommy2Nine at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven

Mommy2Nine is raising nine kids with the 10th on the way. She lives in a tiny farm town in Mexico and enjoying the ups and downs of small town life. She has had her share of testing, but has relied on her family and her faith to guide her though life and raising her family. She is also a semi-vegan and shares with us recipes of all sorts on her blog, like this yummy veggie stuffed pepper recipe. Mommy2Nine also shares organization ideas, cleaning, tips, and ideas for frugal living. Be prepared for some heavy reading, because everything you need is right here, and there is no possibility of getting bored. I am still trying to tackle my kitchen after some great kitchen advice.

Mallen’s Making Lemonade Mellen is thirty-something single mother with rheumatoid arthritis. Life threw her some lemons and she attempts to make lemonade every day. In her blog, she discusses her family, dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and her faith as her guiders through her condition. In a recent post, Mallen tries to find a response to how RA feels.

Here is what she has to say: “With me, I am typically sore in my hands, wrists. Tasks like holding a book can be torture (especially since I love to read), cooking can be difficult, too. I love to cook and bake, but stirring, chopping, grating, slicing, etc. can be so painful. My elbows tend to give me trouble too. They just usually throb, ache, and burn. Shoulders and hips once in awhile give me grief which makes it difficult to sleep. The thing that really bothers me is my feet. I can't seem to find any shoes that are comfortable except flip flops or crocs. So in the fall and winter I am usually so frustrated with footwear. I am 35 and I want to look nice and wear cute shoes, but the pain is too unbearable.”

I can truly relate to Mallen about these difficulties and the “I am too young for this” feeling. This excerpt comes from a Web MD article titled “Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women.” "RA often strikes women who are in their 30s and 40s who have heavy work and home responsibilities," says Androniki Bili, MD, MPH, of Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa. "We are looking at women who have young children and who are bread winners or equal partners in bringing in income." In addition to attacking young women in the prime of their lives, RA quite often takes a bigger toll on their bodies than it does with men. David Pisetky, M.D., chief of rheumatology at Duke University Medical Center of Durham, N.C., informs that pregnancy is one of main reasons that women are more affected by autoimmune diseases such as RA and lupus.

Well, those were my latest stalking ventures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and you never know, your blog maybe next! I will see you another month for my next Follow Friday post. In the meantime, happy reading!