Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gift of the Year

My son would lose his mind over this "Elmo's Restaurant". He loves to cook, and serve us, he even takes orders down on paper. He doesn't have a kitchen, but he does have a grocery store, and that's where he practices his culinary arts. Don't you love it? I think it's awesome. The dilemma? It's $98.00. WHOA. If I got him this for Christmas, chances are he wouldn't get much of anything else. But I don't think he would care. If this was assembled under the tree, at that moment the rest of the world would disappear. I should probably get it before it becomes an out of stock item.

By the way....with no children in town, shouldn't I be doing something 'grown up' and wonderful for myself instead of looking on line for Christmas presents for my kids?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mid-Week Blurbs

I can live without hearing the phrase "Joe The Plumber" for the rest of my life.

I made a killer Shepperd's Pie last night.

I love my small group.

My son has a severe obsession with shoes. ( his shoes, thank you Lord)

I can not wait until the election is over, my 2 year old hears OBama's voice on the radio and says..."Mommy! that's arak-n-bama!

My daughter's T.V has been on the floor of my closet for a week now. She is awaiting it's return desperately.

I'm not looking forward to un-Halloweening.

I have absolutely nothing to do tomorrow, all day and all night.

Please pray for my children to have a safe trip. I went over all of the safety rules with them, and made sure Alex is still solid with every one's first and last name and his father's cell phone number including area code.

I saw on T.V that you can put preparation H cream under your eyes to help with bags. Now I can officially mark "put butt cream on my face" off my bucket list.

As you can see, I am having writers block.

I want to go see a good movie-but it has to be a good one. Know any?

I'm going to love on my kids for a few more minutes before they go.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gotta Let it Burn...

Warning: I am wearing my heart on my sleeve this week, be prepared.

I am having an emotionally rough week. No one blogs about the bad stuff, only the good stuff. I am hoping I can teach some type of lesson here today.

Wednesday night, my children are leaving with their father to spend Halloween in DisneyWorld.

The 2 hard hits:

This will be the first Halloween in a decade that I will not help Amber with her costume, and watch her in excitement run from house to house, collecting the candy that she will never eat, but the thrill of it all is priceless.

My baby boy is going to Disney for the very first time-without his Mommy. OUCH.

I battle with the failure of a broken family every single day of my life. Quite frankly, I'm ashamed of it. I am ashamed that my son never saw his father and I together as a couple. He knows nothing more than Mommy's house, and Daddy's house. My kids are awesome, and they deserve so much better. My children hop from house to house...wishing they didn't forget this there, or that here, and as I said, they deserve so much better. I KNOW there are scenario's like mine where the separation is non-negotiable, and in every one's best interest, but it's times like these where I have to just let it burn.

The lesson?

Make sure you are in a secure, permanent union with your partner before you bring children in to the world.

If you ever feel like you want to give up on your relationship-DON'T. Exhaust all options. Know that you did 100% what you could have done to hold your family together. Don't make any selfish decisions that could cause you and other pain for years to come.

I have faith that our lives are all planned out for us and that all of this has happened for a reason. I am even at peace as to why it happened to me, but I am trying to find peace in why it has happened to my beautiful children. Why they have to pay the price. I know some people are thinking..."They're fine! Kids are resilient!". I would love to be able to shrug it off like that, but they're not just any kids, they are my kids.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Amber's Halloween Bash 2008

Tonight was Amber's long awaited Halloween party. The kids had a BLAST! She had 7 friends from school, and her three cousins Danielle, Joseph, and Mackenzie. The number was perfect for our space. We moved furniture around, and put tables away, and it worked out great! Clean up was bearable, and well worth it. Amber said after everyone left that the party was AWESOME. The party was 2 hours, and I'm glad, and so are my neighbors, my floors, and my ears. Check out these pics....
My Mad Hatter-isn't she gorgeous?
Amber and Mackenzie
Look at that face
Okay, no one of the male gender likes this costume, but I think it's adorable. He may be too old for it, but he's so little that I thought it was cute. What do you think?
Will you please look at the thug. She's actually such a pretty little girl. They were boyfriend/girlfriend from some U-TUBE video, but I'm clueless-never been on U-TUBE!
I think all of the kids came in great costumes!
We made mummies! 2 teams, 2 mummies! Whoever finished first was the winner!
Limbo...Alex was being a good helper. By this time he was sweating. By the end of the night, he
was in nothing but his underwear.

Halloween Twister

Bobbling for Apples. This was their favorite part of the night. They shoved their faces right in that water!

Little Joe-too cute-he kept putting his hands near the water involuntarily because he wanted to help his apple along-but he wound up getting it with his mouth! And he was proud!

So there you have it! We played a few more games, but I did my best with the photos! Wheeeewwww...... Now I'm off to bed!

Fourth file, Fourth Photo

I have been tagged by my friend Lisa to post my 4th photo in my fourth file on my computer. Drums Please...........

Here is my son doing what he loves more than anything in the world. Driving. This picture was taken last January in New York. The fine piece of machinery you see him in is a Porsche 911 Twin Turbo. Papa went to Germany to test drive this car, and then it was transported by boat to the U.S. I would love to tell you more about the car, but the truth is, I just don't know, and I don't want to make something up just to sound cool. What I do know is that there is less than 100 ( I believe 88) of these made per year, and the plan is for the car to eventually be put on blocks, drained of all it's fluids, and preserved for my son. Being the only grandson has it's perks. Between the Go-Kart, and the car, my gray hair will be glistening in the sun. Now I am supposed to tag 4 people but I can see that most people have been tagged already, so I will have to go with two. Kelly and Marie...Tag! You're it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I serve God, I serve my family, I serve at my church, and I serve at The Cheesecake Factory. I have heard a couple of Pastors speak about servers, whether it be treating them with respect, or tipping them well. Since I know all about it first hand, I have decided to point out the straight facts about serving, and offer some tips as well. If you get offended when you read this, you may want to re-think your gratuity strategy.

The Basics:
I make $3.13 an hour. I REPEAT, SERVERS MAKE $3.13 AN HOUR.

So do the bussers, food runners, and bartenders.
Every 2 weeks I get a paycheck that ranges from $10.00-$30.00. HENCE, We do not collect a paycheck.

Guess who pays the bussers, food runners and bartenders? The Servers do.
No matter what I receive in tips, I still have to pay out certain set percentages to everyone else. Therefore, When you stiff me, I still have to pay 2.2% of that sale to the busser, 1.2% to the bartender, and 1% to the food runner. So when you stiff someone, not only are they not making money, they are actually losing money.

In the year 2008, nothing less than an 18% tip is acceptable. That tip is average for satisfactory service.

If you sit at someones table for three hours, keep in mind that they could have turned that table over 2 more times after you, maybe even three, so please tip accordingly. Example: I had 2 men who hadn't seen each other since high school. They had photos, and stories, and were in no rush. As soon as they sat down, they said they would be a while, and they would take care of me. Their bill was $60.00, they were there a little over an hour, and they left a $20.00 tip. Nicely done.

Please treat servers with respect. They are hard working people just like you, and they hold your dining experience in their hands. There are reasons that people wait tables that you may not even think about. It's not necessarily lack of education or skills. Here are my reasons:

I make my own schedule.
If you want to work more, you pick up extra shifts on your time, in the sections that you want.
If you decide you do not want to work or can't work, people are always looking for shifts.
I can set my schedule to work when my kids are at their dads, so it doesn't interfere with my time with them at home.
I get to drive my kids to school, pick them up, and attend all school activities.
I leave with cash in my pocket each time I work.
I'm moving around, and busy, which is what works best for me. When I sit in one spot for too long, I get sleeeeepy.....
I can not speak for all restaurants, but The Cheesecake Factory is a money making restaurant.
This job is a good fit for me and my lifestyle for now as a second source of income.

When you are approached by your server, put your phone down, and look them in the face. No different than what you expect at your place of business. Teach your children to do the same.
Hopefully this post will help everyone better understand the 'Server' world. If you come in to The Cheesecake Factory to eat, come and see me. If your not a good tipper, give me a hug and go sit somewhere else. ;0)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Costume Disaster

Without getting long winded, it went something like this....

Go to order the Lightning McQueen pit crew costume for Alex on

They don't have his size on line, so I call the 1-800 number.

They say they have it! GREAT! I order it, along with the helmet, and I tell Alex-He's stoked!

I get the helmet in the mail, and that's it. I call the 1-800 number.

They tell me it is out of stock, and has been out of stock. WHAT! This flares my temper that I blog about from time to time. The blood is boiling. Temp is rising.....I want a manager.

I get Jeff, he refunds me, and tells me they have one in the Carolina Place Mall with my name on it for me. AWESOME! And it went down in price even more than it already was! PERFECT!

I go there today to pick it up. GUESS WHAT??

It was removed from the shelves only in THAT SIZE because it was dangerous. But just in that size???? What if a large 2 year old bought a size 4?

I have a helmet that I paid for, no costume, and I have to tell Alex he's not going to be Lightning McQueen. I cared a lot more than he did.

I got the helmet for free, and scored a free pair of sneakers without even asking because when I called Jeff from my cell phone while I was standing in the store and told him what was going on, I think he already knew that I can get 'excited'. Please know I'm never disrespectful towards the person when I have my 'flare ups', I just get fired up when I'm told one thing, and another thing happens.

Hence, I got a cheap little piece together costume in Target. I took pictures, but the memory card was not in the camera. Brilliant. I'll try again, and you will see what he is going to be. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us..

Me and my blog that is. 1 year ago today was my very first post. I have posts that I love, and posts I could do without. I'm sure everyone does. My main reason for this blog is not for outsiders to read it, but to have a journal of my life so I can print and bind it yearly, and save it for my children. Memory boxes are great too, but I'm thinking several books that share stories about our day to day life that they can read and share with their children and so on and so forth will be a priceless memory. I also noticed that I have abandoned Music Friday. When summer started and the kids were home everyday...things got wild, and I never got back in to it. I have had several ideas, but Music Friday sometimes requires research that I don't always have time for. So with that, and speaking of memories, I have decided to bring back The very first Music Friday post that holds tons and tons of memories for me, plus it was in the beginning of my blogging career, so new comers probably have not seen it. Here we go...

Music Lovers Challenge

Where to begin.....I would love to proudly say that I have no addictions. I'm not addicted to cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, soda, coffee, reality T.V., or any T.V for that matter....but I do have one severe addiction. MUSIC. Since birth almost. I know music that was rocking the world before my parents even met. I consider it a gift, not an addiction. I would like to say every Friday will be some type of Musical post. Whether it be "Did you know?", or Trivia, etc. But I don't think I want to commit. So I will just say I would LIKE to do a post on music on Friday's, but don't hold me to it. This first post is a challenge to all of the hard core music lovers out there. I challenge you to beat out my concert attendances. You think you can do it? Let's see........


Guns N' Roses, Metallica x2
Madonna x2, Janet Jackson
The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac
The Doors(less Jim, of course)Pink Floyd
Dave Matthews Band x6(their huge to me)Phil Collins
Billy Joel - Elton John-dueling piano's-UNBELIEVABLE

90's Grungy Goodness and then some........

Rage against the Machine, Faith No More
Third eye Blind, Counting Crows
Nine Inch Nails, Vertical Horizon
Blink 182, Greenday x2
The Cranberries, Stone Temple Pilots
Smashing Pumpkins, Bush
Live, Wallflowers
Tool, Oasis
Weezer, Cold Play
311, Pearl Jam

Big, but not exactly HUGE

Duran Duran, Bon Jovi
The Greatful Dead, The Allman Brothers
Steve Miller Band, Psychedelic furs

Cheesy and humiliating

New Kids on the Blizzzock
Tiffany, Paula Abdul
Debbie Gibson, The Village People

Here's the last 2 that fell into Cheesy, and Big but not huge(for their time)
Great White/WhiteSnake
Hall & Oates-my very very first concert in 5th grade.

Alright, bring it on, I dare you to beat that list. I'm so proud of that list. I'm getting rusty, but I am looking for a come back next summer at Verizon....My son came to 2 concerts with me in the womb. He can actually say he attended a Doors concert-how about that! This list also excludes the concerts I have seen with my daughter. Hillary Duff, Cheeta Girls, Hanna Montana....add them to the Cheese category if you would like.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Bigger the Bag.....

The more room for a mess. Right now, I am using a ROXY purse from Pacific Sun wear. I know, it's PACSUN now, but for too long it was Pacific Sun wear, so that's what it is to me. That's not exactly it, but that's the size of it, so you can get a good idea of what I'm working with here. It's pretty big, and has too much room for too much crap. Robert calls me 'grandma' every time I am digging through my purse for something. He asks me for a piece of 'pocket book' candy. You know you have a fuzzy mint every now and then in your purse, I don't care who you are. You also know that out of all of that stuff in your over-sized purse, you only NEED maybe 3 items. Yet it seems that you could survive for a week on what's in it. I cleaned mine out last night. I am not the woman at the register that is placing everything in it's home where it belongs, I am the woman that just throws everything in there, and I will 'fix it later'. Yeah...yeah. So I took inventory. Here we go....

A pocket planner



Empty bank envelopes

pack of instant oatmeal

day Quill gel caps

A light bulb (I need to make sure I get the right ones for my dining room!)

2 pens and a black sharpie ( I can never find that sharpie when I need it)

post its

a rubber band

paper clips

loose change

2 crystal light peach iced tea to-go packs

1 fuzzy uneatable piece of gum





cell phone

2 nail files (you know you hate when your out in public and you have a jagged nail)


feminine products


So humor me, and tell me...what's in your purse?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Big Kids vs. Little Ones

I spend a lot of time with my big nephews, Devin and Isaiah. They are 12 and 13. Here are some big kid vs. little kid pros and cons.

Little kids get up at the crack of dawn.

Big kids sleep as late as possible.

Little kids are affordable to feed.

Big kids are not.

Little kids bang on your computer and can possibly do damage.

Big kids monopolize your computer, and listen to crappy music on it.

Little kids 'Show You Their Guns' in a cute way.

Big kids flex their muscles in your face all day long and say they're 'BEAST'.

Little kids don't clean up after themselves.

Big kids don't clean up after themselves.

That's a wash.

Little kids take naps, so there is peace and quiet mid-day.

Big kids are at their most obnoxious mid-day.

Little kids think your awesome and look up to you.

Big kids think you're a dork, and are embarrassed of your presence.

Little kids go wherever you take them.

Big kids miss buses and their rides leave without them (yeah right).

Little kids throw out 'I Love You' left and right.

Big kids cringe at public declarations of love (but I do it anyway).

Little kids go to bed nice and early.

Big kids stay up later than you do, and eat you out of house and home.

I'm not sure who comes out victorious with this list, but I love them all so very much. I love the age range of the children in our family that goes from 13-2. A little bit of each stage of young life. Maybe one day another infant will be thrown into the never know. NO-that is not a subliminal message everyone-relax.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Great Photography

One of my bestest friends in the world Siobhainin (Sha-vau-nin) took these pictures last time we were in N.Y. I want to blow them all up to poster size. I just love them. Amber was not with us, she was on her yearly trip to Myrtle Beach with my mother. Enjoy my gorgeous baby.

Look how far away we were from him Mom! I can't wait to get a smack for these pics!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thou Shall Not Work

I made a vow to myself many moons ago that I would never let a job bring me to tears. I have been successful to date, with two of the toughest jobs out there. I swore I would walk out before I let a job situation get the best of me. And I did once. But my boss blew my phone up until I came back to work. He hasn't been my boss for a long time, but I still go see him, and he considers me a daughter even though he's only about 5 years older than me-if that. I tried to have lunch with him yesterday, but he wasn't in. I had the staff give me a free lunch, and let him know I was there. Connections. Gotta love 'em. So the 2 jobs you ask? The restaurant business, and the mortgage business.

The restaurant business-Someone cries almost once a night. Whether it be a boss chewing you out because you never put and order in and now the guest has been there for 25 minutes and the whole kitchen has to stop what their doing and the order they do it in for you, and your mistake, OR it's an ignorant guest who thinks that just because you wait tables that they are above you and you are a low life. I've even heard the phrase from a not-so-nice gentleman.... "Another Da** Yankee". My response? "That's right I am sir, and proud of it." Either way, the tears are mainly frustration rather than "sadness". They do come though. Not for me. I would rather go in the bathroom and kick the garbage over and get over it than let that ignorant guest or an angry boss see me cry. Is that a pride thing? Maybe so. It is what it is.

The mortgage business-Where do I begin. Picture working at a brokerage in New York. Walking in the door, and your desk is smothered in stuff that you did not leave there the day before. 4 men are standing at your desk, throwing requests at you before you even put your purse in the draw. The phone is blowing up, and you have 15 voice mails. Everything needed to be done yesterday. People are going to lose their home if the loan doesn't close by 5pm today. Loan officers are giving you money under the table to make their files a priority. I worked on all sub prime loans. C,D and F borrowers. Total nightmares. In the midst of this, my boss is turning purple to my left, screaming at bank reps on the phone. Talk about STRESS AND PRESSURE. Never did cry there either, but had to leave the industry. It was hindering my family life. I LOVED that job, the company, my co-workers, and the money was the best I have ever made in my life. A comfy salary with a phat monthly bonus based on performance. I earned a trip to Puerto Rico based on performance too. Loved that place. But as I said, it didn't work with my "Mommy" schedule. I was depleted by the time I got home at night. I missed school functions and night time events. I had to make a choice. I chose to be a great broke mother instead.

How about you? Ever release the water works at work? Makes you mad right afterwards-doesn't it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A typical day with Alex

it's 9 am.
So far we have visited the potty 3 times.
We have tried on and had to tie 4 different pairs of shoes.
His room is already to' up from the flo' up.
Right now, we are actually giving our undivided attention to the backyardigans...oh.....for 6 seconds.
Soon he will ask me for a waffle that he will not eat, and I will tell him all about wasting food.
I have already had to haggle with him about why he can not use the computer.
Right now I am keeping an eye on him with the pen he just found.
He just gave me a speech about personal space. I wonder where he got that from.
The backyardigans have some pretty good moves.
He has already asked for gum, and when I say no, he replies with, "Mommy, I'm using my manners!"

Oh yeah, and we also played hide and seek.........

P.S.-right now I am watching Backyardigans, and Alex is no where to be found. Good morning. Happy Tuesday.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


These pictures stink because you can't see how awesome everything looks with the lights off. I love Halloween. I know some people will frown on my scary stuff, but I like it. I noticed that in the South, Halloween is celebrated as "Fall Festivals", instead of ghosts and goblins. Nothing can be brought to school that has anything more than pumpkins and scarecrows on it. No witches, no ghosts, no skeletons. Up North, we celebrate Halloween. In Elementary school, we have Halloween parades and all of the kids wear their costumes to school. As long as you don't have a mask over your face, you can be whatever you want to be. No costumes in school at all down here. I do not look at Halloween as "Satan's Holiday". He doesn't need a holiday to creep up on you when you least expect it. So don't frown on my scary stuff, it's actually pretty cool. Lots of the stuff you see moves, and makes noises, and we have a smoke machine too! I now have black lights in all of the lights in the living room, and lots and lots of candles. I love dressing up the house for the Holidays! Amber is having a Halloween party this year. We have Halloween twister, and we will be bobbing for apples, we will play "stick your hand in the brown paper bag and guess what your touching", all kinds of goodies!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

That Kind of Mother...

Do you have 'That kind of Mother'? The one that...well...ever since you've had children it's gone something like this....."Is she warm enough? Where's her jacket? She should have sneakers on if she's going to be walking a lot. I see her nose is running, have you taken her to the doctor? She's still just a baby you know. Is that food cool enough for her? She needs a blanket."

Do you have that mother? I do. She makes no apologies for it either. She will probably be this way forever and ever. The reason I bring this up is because I am waiting for my phone call back from her to get my butt chewed out for this picture below. Do you see why? She is livid that I let my son sit on the dock like that with no adult supervision. If I say "He's sitting right next to Morgan" she will reply...."Morgan is only 10! She's not a grown up! He could have fallen in the water! What's wrong with you!" I can hear my 10 minute lecture that I will be getting when she calls me back. We have these same issues when he climbs ladders on swing sets, playing near a pool WITH his life jacket on, and anything that there is even a small possibility that he could get hurt. Just to make her even more mad, I respond with answers like..."Well once he falls once, he'll know not to do it again." If you knew my mother this would crack you up because she doesn't need any extra pushing to get fired up. So what do you think? Do you see this photo as a danger? What you can't see is that this is the bay, and the water is maybe 3 feet below, and it's probably about 3 feet deep in this particular area. Even if he fell in, it would be a quick recovery. I know she hates that statement too as she's reading this. I love you Mom.