Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Negotiating Maternity Leave : Mom Colored Glasses

I'm writing again today at Mom Colored Glasses!

This article is about negotiating maternity leave.  I would love for you to go and check it out!  Click on the image below to take you right to it.

Hope you have a ghoulish and fun Halloween!  I'm planning on high sugar levels and tummy aches.

Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...
  • Excited and helpful kids raking leaves.
  • Seeing the used car salesman's face when I walked into the dealership after a "fun" negotiating conversation on the phone.  Nothing like a brisk discussion to get the blood flowing.  I think he was scared of me.  Love it.
  • Shopping for little toys and candy for all of the trick-or-treaters that will visit work.  Even though I don't work tomorrow, I had so much fun looking for fun and annoying toys.  This year...whizzing Dracula teeth, kaleidoscopes,pencils, glow bracelets (that never even made it into the bucket before claimed for school parties), erasers, and candy of course.  We never have trick-or-treaters at home, so work is where it's at!
  • Peppermint tea.  My favorite.
  • Jillian working an assembly line with my mom, putting together trunk-or-treat bags.  She was organized and efficient.  My kind of girl.
  • Successful presentations with positive feedback....makes it all worth it.
  • I have been stretched a bit thin lately.  I'm so thankful that Ben has picked up the extra slack here at home.
  • This picture of Jillian (below).  It captures the moment, which caught me by surprise.  My confident and independent girl was having a bit of stage fright.  She walked right away from her friends during the mini performance.
  • Everyday when Myles gets home from school he runs right into the bathroom to wash his hand so he can have a snack right away.  Love my little rule-follower.  Makes things easier for me!

I'm Better Off Without List...
  • Jillian's tears when I leave lately.  Not sure if it is a phase, or simply because I worked an extra day last week.  We are working on it, either way. Poor girl.
  • I crammed the washer so full tonight it is literally jumping across the laundry room floor (above me - it is upstairs) as I type.  I knew I shouldn't, but cramming meant one less load.  Probably worth it.
  • Myles walking up to me at the car dealership with a mouse sticky pad stuck to his shoe...that I had to pick off.  Sick.  Oh, and Mr. Dealership guy...classy.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Patch...Or NOT.

Mom of the year checking in here today...  Please note the sarcastic tone.

This year, our porch did not resemble an autumn harvest.  No corn stalks, no bales of hay, no gourds.  We have even been pumpkin-less all of October.  Yes, we went to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch, but we were sure we would be able to get some on a less rainy day. It has been over a week of worried faces and whiny voices insisting that we get our "punkins" REALLY soon.  The days on the calendar continued to flip and we never made it back out to find the perfect pumpkins for the kids.  That brings us to mom of the year moment.  I found my award staring into an empty pumpkin bins at Meijer.  Not the farm, the patch, or the field.  The produce section of Meijer.  AND THERE WERE NONE LEFT.

What a wonderful experience...explaining to your children that we will find some somewhere (and hoping to goodness gracious that we don't end up with foam versions of the orange symbols of the season).  So, it was on to my least favorite store...Walmart.  Never my store of choice, but we were desperate.  You should have seen their tiny faces.  That, "WHY did you wait so long?!?!  We are never gonna get pumpkins" look.  Awesome.  Even better?  I saw it again...when the bin at Walmart...was empty as well.  It was getting late and our quest for pumpkins was not going to supersede bedtimes.  No need to be THAT mom at Walmart, right?

So, it was back home...empty-handed.  Promises of farm fresh pumpkins after church were floating around the car.  Ben said, "There are thousands of pumpkins in Michigan guys, we just have to find them."  Well, we finally did.  They have been carved and our porch is finally autumn adorned.  The seeds have been salted, roasted, and devoured.  Crisis averted.  Here is the proof.

I can't look at this picture without laughing.  Seriously Myles, hilarious.  Is it his serious pose?

Pumpkin head.

So proud.

And so the poses begin...

Hope you had a great weekend!

To top off the weekend for Lisa... YOU are the winner of the Jacaranda Designs giveaway!  Congrats! Message me with your address so she can send you your new gorgeous earrings! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...
  • Last week Jillian was telling me a story about a girl in her class.  I asked her what her name was. She had no idea.  You know what she did know?  What kind of shoes she was wearing.  She described every detail about them.  I guess the shoe obsession begins young.
  • I'm so excited to receive the Illuminating Blogger Award from Dana at This Silly Girl's Life blog.  This Illuminating Blogger Award is awarded to bloggers for illuminating and informative blog content.  Thank you, Dana!  To read more about the award you can click here.
  • Listening to Myles read the books that he made at school to us.
  • Tomorrow is Jillian's half-birthday.  We are equipped with pink cake ingredients.  Looking forward to the half-celebration.
  • I received a gift certificate in the mail from a cookie company.  The amount was the exact amount I would need to send a cookie and a card to Myles at school, Jillian at home, and Ben at work!  They are going to love it!  Don't tell them about's a was...
  • Krave cereal.  Seriously, they are like little pillows of chocolaty goodness.  Too bad I know about them now.  I've never even taken the time to add milk.  A handful of them and I am a happy girl.
  • Myles and his thumbs up and wink that he gives me when he is happy.  So cute.
  • Last, but certainly not least, I have another post at Mom Colored Glasses today!  Check it out here.

I'm Better Off Without List...
  • Changing Myles's sheets since he has had a loft bed.  Seriously, I don't think it could be any harder.  I think I'll just skip it for a while...or longer.
  • The misty rain spitting from the sky today.  Have you ever seen my hair when it is raining?  It's incredible.  It grows to a huge ball of frizz.  It was warm though!
  • The mom guilt I am feeling for not having pumpkins on our porch yet (or even purchased).
  • Election commercials.  Enough said.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mother - Son Dance

Saturday was a very special day in our house.  The Mother - Son Dance.  

We have both been waiting a month for our very special date night.  Never...never in his whole life has Myles been ready and all dressed up before I was.  He took care in selecting his tie, shoes, and belt.  The whole look.  He patiently waited for me to get ready.  Never have I had my date watch Power Rangers while waiting for me to curl my hair.  Love it.

Ben took him that afternoon to get a rose to give to me.  He was so proud, but was sure to give some credit to his Dad.  They also took cash out, so that Myles could "pay" at  the restaurant.  Adorable.  Here are some pictures of the special evening...that ended in a big surprise.........


Jillian was begging to take some pictures with Myles.  This series of photos just crack me up.  She had a special date last night as well, with her Dad.  They had an amazing time.  Actually, one of my favorite moments of the night was receiving a text from Ben that read, "I love this little girl to death."  I'm so glad that Mama's girl has some special time with her Daddy.

Too tight hug.

Happy and excited kids.

Me and my handsome date...ready to leave.

His pick for dinner...Red Robin.  It was extra special...he got to get a toy out of the gumball machine thingy at the front door.

On to dessert.  He picked Cotton Candy ice cream with Kit Kat's in it.  Uhhhh...yum?

Our picture taken at the dance.  Yes, I cropped it.  My underwear were showing.  Classy.

Myles busting a his usual form.  This time, he had several friends with similar moves to back him up.

Refreshment breaks were key.  Can you see how red and sweaty he is?!?

Silly guy.

Myles wanted a turn behind the camera and took this picture on the dance floor.  It was right after the last slow dance - where Myles whipped and swung me around.  We need a lesson on slow dancing.  Anyway, I decided to pick him up. (Which was probably hilarious to see...I think his legs were hanging past my knees.)  After the song ended, it was time for the big announcement...the winners of the BIKE giveaway!  He had not even noticed the door prizes.  He was way too busy with his friends.  As soon as I set him down, he started to run away to his buddies so I yelled after him, "Come back!  Let's see if your ticket is the winner for the bike!"  I immediately regretted even saying it.  I could see the excitement in his eyes.  "You mean I could win a BIKE!!!"  Crap.  Now I got his hopes up, only to likely crash in about thirty seconds.  I try to backpedal and say, "Well, there are a lot of kids here, so probably not...but stay here so we can check."  They start calling numbers.  I am reading the tickets and every. single. number. is called.  He won.  I look at him and say..."Myles!  You won buddy!!  You WON!!"  The excitement for him was...amazing.  

Best night.

Telling them his name over the loud speaker.

Posing for a picture with his new bike. 

Thrilled is an understatement.  He slept with it in his room.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mom of the Week!

Don't let the title fool you...


  • I went to work with dirty hair.  It wasn't worth the extra fifteen minutes of sleep. Embarrassing.
  • I cried on my way to the office.  I was thinking back to all of the wonderful things that Myles' teacher said during his conferences.  It was not about his writing, reading, or math skills.  It was about his character.  Amazing.  Anyway, I was thinking about how proud and happy I am of him and a song came on the radio that fit the moment so perfectly.  Dork, I know.
Nevertheless, I am really excited to be the Mom Colored Glasses Mom of the Week!

They interviewed me.  I'm used to interviewing my kids for posts.  This time I was the interviewee.  I like being the one asking the questions.  It's easier.

Here is a link to the interview.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mom Colored Glasses

I am super excited to tell you something!  I would assume you are all holding your breath in excitement...  Right?

I am guest posting at Mom Colored Glasses this month!

Mom Colored Glasses is an online magazine for moms.  It is written by real moms, just like us.  Their articles are informative and give their readers all sorts of information about relevant topics.  I have found recipes, projects to do with Myles and Jillian, information about living green, and many other topics that moms want to read about!

I'll be sure to link up my articles, so you can keep up with me over there if you would like!

Here is my first article.


Oh, and don't forget to enter into the latest {Giveaway!!}

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Conferences and {Giveaway!!}

Ben is at work.  Myles is at school.  Jillian is napping.  The laundry and cleaning (at least what I am willing to do today) is done.  I have worked plenty (with teleconferences and emails...on my day off).  It's just me.  And then...there is YOU.  And - I love to come and visit my friends in this little corner of the internet.  So, I sit here with a bag of chocolate chips (that I know I should not eat) and I write.

It is these quiet moments that my fingers can fly across the keyboard.

I've got some things on my mind for my little boy who is probably enjoying Music Class right now.  We have conferences for him tonight.  It is our first "real" conferences if you don't count the preschool "Yes, he can write his ABC's" kind of conferences.  I'm nervous.  I have not exactly pin-pointed the reason for my anxiousness about it...but I think it sounds something like this...

I love my tiny boy to pieces.  I so want him to do well.  I'm proud of him.  I'm not ready to hear anything negative about my little man, who has recently and adorably started to want to have his hair spiked in a way that only Daddy can do.  I have no reason to think she would have anything negative to say, but I worry nevertheless.  I know parents all over this country go to conferences and hear the good and the bad about their child's social and academic abilities.  We need to hear it to help them grow and succeed.  It is just my over-the-top, type A, need to please personality that is craving for everything to go well.  To prove...what...we are good parents??

Who the heck knows.  That is what the flow of thought looks like on a daily basis in my head.  Probably should just keep them there, huh?  I'm sure we will make it through this evening's events just fine.  We have a two-hour interval between the kids' conferences, so I could always go drink after the first one to prepare me for Jillian's.  Just kidding.  Oh - this is her first conference ever.  Guess I need to start worrying about that too, huh?!?

I'll keep my eye on the prize.  I have a very important date this weekend.  The Mother-Son Dance.  We will be going out to dinner and then dancing the night away at the high school.  I can't wait.

Oh - and I have something awesome to share with you tomorrow!  I can't wait!  Be sure to check back and see the big news!


I am super excited to announce my next giveaway!  This time, I am featuring Jane from Jacaranda Designs.  Jane makes her gorgeous jewelry in her home studio.  She started making jewelry six years ago and it is her passion, which is obvious when you visit her Etsy shop.

I love her pieces.  The color and delicacy of the handmade and unique jewelry is right up my alley.  A few of my favorite pieces...
These adorable hair pins would look amazing in Jillian's ringlets.

I love this bird's nest necklace.  Someone tell Ben that there are THREE eggs in the nest.

How could I pass up this adorable yellow bookmark.  Yellow + floral + books =  Amazingly perfect for me.

Last, but CERTAINLY not least, I love these delicate gold leaf earrings.  One lucky follower of mine will win them!  Boxed and delivered right to the winner's doorstep!

These delightful, simple gold leaf earrings are lightweight and versatile. The little gold plated filigree leaves are so delicate. They are 16K gold plating over brass.
The ear wires are gold plated.
Length of the earrings is approx. 1 inch.
Packaging: The earrings are packaged in a jewelry box, tied with a ribbon, ready for gift giving.

To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog and comment below with your favorite item in her store!  You can find a link to her shop above in this post, or in the sidebar of my blog.  Easy as that!  

This giveaway will close in one week.

You can also visit Jane at:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday's Love and I'm Better Off Without Lists...

Love List...
Jillian's fish bowl
Abstract flowers by Myles
  • This weekend, Jillian and I were rocking and watching a cooking show.  She fell asleep in my arms.  It was amazing.  That hasn't happened since she was a little baby.  So sweet.
  • Halloween decorations.  AND - the excited kids that help me put them up.
  • Art class creations.  Here are some of the recent kiddo masterpieces to decorate this post, just like they decorate my kitchen.
  • The prize tomato from our "garden" (one little tomato plant).  It was the sole survivor.  All of the rest of the tomatoes fell victim to a hungry animal in our yard.  We picked it early (still green) because it was getting too cold outside.  It is on the ledge of my sink and becoming pink.  Hoping for red!  Just a side note - no one in this house is all that crazy about tomatoes, but this special one...we will definitely eat!
  • I finally put a picture of my own children in a frame hanging in my kitchen.  Goodbye little blond girl that came in the frame.  You have been in my kitchen for long enough.
  • Jillian's Clown
  • Watching Myles sit at the kitchen table and work on a letter.  He brought me an entire pack of pencils to sharpen for him to use on this special note.  Of course, I can't remember where a pencil sharpener might be hiding.  I gave him a pen, rather ruining my eyeliner pencil sharpener.  You would have thought I gave him the newest cool toy on the market.

I'm Better Off Without List...

  • Lunchbox ketchup explosion.  I'm not sure if "explosion" fully explains the amount of ketchup that can coat the interior of a lunchbox.  Frankly, it was amazing.
  • Getting home from the grocery store and realizing the most important item you went after never even made it into your cart.
  • Speechless parenting moments.  How about this one?  Myles asks about a homeless man on the corner of the street.  Ben make a valiant attempt at the "correct" parenting answer and does a pretty good job.  Of course, several "Whys?" ensue.  The last why was, "Why do you think he has to do that?"  Ben answers something about always doing our best in school and making good decisions to provide yourself with opportunities.  What do you think Myles responded with?  The name of a kid in his class that is "always on yellow and red and will probably have to sit on the side of the road when he gets older because he doesn't do well in school."  Uhhhhhh......

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Yes, I am procrastinating...right. now. 

I should be working on a few things that just have to be done, but I thought I would procrastinate a little longer by writing a quick blog post.  Don't shake your head.  You know you have done it.  I'm sure you have done your share of checking Facebook when you should be working, pinning on Pinterest when there is laundry to be done, or maybe even reading this blog when you should be...uhhhh...dusting?  Nah.

I am very glad we didn't procrastinate on having some fun times this weekend.  We had some big business to complete.  We needed to redeem some rewards.  Reading rewards.  I had one little (actually quite tall) five-year-old that was so geeked to redeem his first Book It personal pizza.  Who knew that pizza could be so exciting?  When you earn it, it must taste so much better.  Same with his Culver's ice cream for Reading Club.  Both redeemed on Friday night.  

He is behind the certificate.  I promise.

Yum!  So exciting.

Today we surprised the kids with a spur the moment trip to the Zoo Boo at Binder Park Zoo this afternoon.  Rain or shine, we were determined to have a good time.  It only poured once.  The kids were super happy to get to wear their costumes in public.  Jillian kept saying things like, "The audience is going to think I am a real bunny, Mommy!"  I guess the world is her stage.

My little bunny ready to leave.

Of course, Myles is Darth Vader.  He loves his mask.  It breathes like Darth Vader and says Vaderisms.  Don't ask me what it actually says.  He loves it.

Ready for action.

Hiding kangaroos brought this face.

Seriously, these are bears in a tree.  A little tree!  The kids learned a valuable lesson from their dad...  If you are ever being chased by a bear, don't bother climbing a tree.

Darth Vader riding an ant dressed as a cowboy.  Of course!  Cracks me up.

Ready to find some candy!

Headed on a hay ride.  Both kids had already ditched their costume heads.

Yes, Ben is using a light saber as a walking stick.

Prairie dogs like Halloween too.  Pumpkins, anyone?

Proof that I was with them....and that it was raining.  Why is it that after straightening Jillian's hair today, it gets wet and turns back into perfect ringlets?  Mine went from flat iron to frizz head in 30 seconds flat.

Good thing I procrastinated.  I was in a bit of a mood and now I have a big smile on my face.  Remembering the fun times of this weekend...worth it.  

Back to work!