Friday, June 26, 2009

Email Forward Of The Week...

My friend Mike sent me this...definitely makes you think. Totally worth the read...and forwarding to your friends.

Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. A musician played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After three minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes: A 3 year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.

45 minutes: The musician played. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.
He collected $32.

1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments .....

How many other things are we missing?

Michael Jackson: 1958-2009

The world has lost a true musical icon.

Read more at my B Sides music blog (click below):

Yummy Mummy Club

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

If you won the loterry.....

A while back someone on twitter asked 'If you won the lottery what would you do?'
I thought about that moment of complete bliss for a while and finally came up with my top 5 list...

1. I would buy myself some silence. Being a SAHM [stay at home mom] of a 3 year old and a 15 month old, silence is something that is ridiculously hard to come I would take a bit of that cash hire a live-in nanny for one week and book myself into a posh boutique hotel and lock myself in my room for 7 straight days [minus the opening of the hotel room door to allow the room service person to deliver my meals].

2. I would buy myself some sleep. The will be easily accomplished by reading #1. Obviously the people who claim that the older you get, the less sleep you need [bullshit] have never had two hyper active, never quiet for a moment, always on the go, have robbed you of sleep for three years, kids to run after.

3. I would randomly choose one single mom one every day for one month and send them off for a full day spa package [daycare for the kids would be taken of too]. It wasn't until I had kids of my own did I fully appreciate the strength and courage of single parents. I am in awe of how you do it day in and day out all on your own. I applaud all that you do for your kids.

And 4 and 5....totally self-indulgent....

#4. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes...cause a woman can never have enough.

#5 Go download crazy on iTunes and make my little red iPod the workout of it's musical life.

A girl can dream right?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Find of the week...

My late Zia Italia was known for three things her devotion to the Catholic Church, her amazing skills as an artist [her paintings were so beautiful] and the Raggedy Ann dolls she used to sew.

Everyone in my family got was her gift to each new family member. When I had my own daughter I lovingly placed one of the dolls my Zia had made years ago on her bookshelf. It's a doll that I hope will be passed down through generations because it just as much about my family history as it is a good bedtime cuddling toy.

There is something to be said for handmade dolls that can't be said for the ones you buy in the big box stores. Handcrafted dolls have a story to tell and they are carefully and lovingly crafted by someone who has a passion for what they do.

So this week I was thrilled to find these dolls made by a mom of three very busy kids in Ohio. Her company is called Bit Of Whimsy Dolls. She sells handcrafted dolls and the patterns she uses to create them.

This stay at home mommy decided to start making the dolls because she just couldn't find what she wanted for her daughters in stores, "When my daughter was born, I looked everywhere for her First Doll and was disappointed that I could not find what I was looking for. It took me two years to gather the confidence to make a doll for her and the Doodle Girl (named after my daughter's nickname) was born. My daughter especially inspires me to create new friends. There is something special about seeing a child snuggled up with a handmade doll. The love that goes into making the doll and the love given to it by a child is what keeps me going. Sounds sappy, I know!"

You can also find her line on The dolls range from $28 and $42 and can also be special ordered [where you can choose the ethnicity of the doll, the kind of fabric you want used and whether you want the doll to be a boy, girl or animal].

The set of Limited Edition Series 1 Dolls are so beautiful and quirky. With names like Mae, Doodle Girl, Millie Monkey, Gertie Goat, Little Peanut and Olivia Owl...what's not to love?

It just doesn't end there...there are so many talented, crafty women channelling their artistic vibes into very cool products that they sell... is my new go to place for unique products and special gift giving ideas...

Other cool products that are worth checking out: SpoonfulofChocolate, LilMissDolls, CrazyMokesDesigns, papercrafybyk and graceannouncements.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Yummy Mummy Club

Yummy Mummy Club

Love the music based patriotic flag waving...

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Yummy Mummy Club

Yummy Mummy Club

My dream....produce live performances at an award music show....and this would be my stealing my ideas Ryan Seacrest but call me & we can do're picking up the bill of course.

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Oh open-concept house design how I loathe thee....

Note to couples that are thinking about the whole 'wanna have a baby thing'....

Open concept houses totally rock it when you are sans enfants....but bring kids into the picture...especially two that cannot register the command..."Stay here in this room...not over there but here" and suddenly you're on Google typing in words like 'renovations', 'fancy gates' and 'doors' at 11PM when you could be chilling for the first time that day.

So open concept yes if no little feet wander your house...
Little feet yes...containment in a specific area is doors are your friend.

You can thank me later for keeping your sanity.


** yes this bitch session is entirely due to the fact that one wandering 3 year old, who shall remain nameless, discovered Mommy's carefully hidden [or so I thought] chocolate stash and ate the last Skor bar.**

Phone conversation...3 year old style

So I walk into my 3 year old's room this afternoon and he's sitting on the floor playing with one of daddy's ancient cell phones.
For the sake of our 3 year old the phone is very real and really works [yes I occasionally lie to my kids - don't judge me, you do it too....]

But I digress...

This is the 'in-progress phone call conversation' I walk in on....

Matteo: Yes Mr. Policeman, Isabella is very annoying today. She is always touching my toys and biting me. I want you to come and get her and bring her to jail. She can do her time-out chair with you. She is very terrible to me. My mommy says it's OK if you come. OK bye. I have to poop now.

And can you feel the sibling love. Get me a Kleenex I'm gettin' all vaclempt.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mommy my brain really hurts.....

You know the saying 'oh you must have gotten your second wind'...well before bedtime my 3 year old goes through winds 2, 3, 4, and 5 before he's ready to say 'ciao, ciao' to the day that was.

He's always been like that...super busy, into everything, running never walking, yapping away a million miles a minute...simply put he's always on the go. My little Tasmanian Devil he is.

So tonight when he passed on his hot dog, (with just mustard mommy, ketchup goes on on hamburgers only....spoken like the true New Yorker he's not) and he asked if we could go upstairs without watching his favourite TV show 'Olivia', I knew something was not right with my little guy.

30 minutes later he's cuddled up in my arms on the floor and crying because his 'brain really, really hurts' and that slight temperature he's had the last few days is now a full blown hot to the touch fever.

'Mommy please make my head stop hurting so much...please Mommy," cue this Mommy's heart breaking and feeling of total helplessness.

One dose of liquid Tylenol later, bubblegum flavoured of course, and mr. hyper active 24-7, is too tired to play anymore and tells me his head "hurts too much to read any books with anybody tonight. Mommy I just want to lie down. Maybe if I lie down my brain will stop hurting."
20 minutes later, at 7:35PM, my little man is sleeping away curled up on his bed, in the fetal position, clutching his 'teddy blanket' in his arms.

It's right then and there at moment that I wish they could stay 3 forever. And you realize that you love your kids more you than you ever thought possible.

Goodnight my sweet, kind prince. Hope you feel better in the morning.
Mommy loves you very much.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Things I can't live without come kiddie cold/teething time...

Here are the things that I always make sure that I have stocked come kiddie cold & teething time...
These products make the whole getting the kiddies over the cold/teething drama a little more tolerable.

1. HydraSense Nasal Spray: Gentle Mist: Perfect for those delicate, sensitive, tiny noses in babies/toddlers. It's really effective in cleansing and relieving excessive mucus that has built up. Plus the bonus: it's 100% natural source sea water.

Boiron's Coryzalia: It's a homeopathic medicine for children aged 6-30 months that provides relief for colds and congestion. You give it at the first signs of cold symptoms [runny nose, sneezing, eye irritation and nasal congestion]. Bonus: Sugar free, lactose free and alcohol free.

3. Triaminic Flowing Vapors Fan: It's a battery operated version of Vick's Vapor rub and the bonus is that it's totally portable and you aren't stuck to one room.
The fan releases 8 hours of continuous mentholated cherry aroma and helps with breathing when little noses are totally stuffed up. Love that's it's quiet and it fills up a room with a great pleasant, non-medicine smell. The refill pads are available at most drugstores.

4. Hyland's Teething Gel / Teething Tablets: Is an easy-to-use, all-natural product that soothes the pain, the restlessness & irritability when it comes to the whole teething process.
Both products, gel & tablets are 100% natural: homeopathic formula that contains no benzocaine, sugar, artificial flavouring, Parabens or dyes/colouring agents. The only product like it on the market.

Things I won't miss.....

My cousin Christina is graduating from University this week and that got me thinking that one day I'll be watching my kiddlets walk across the stage to receive their diploma...

As much as I want them to stay little for as long as possible and not to grow up too fast, here are the top three things I won't miss...

1. sucking out mucus from little noses with a damn nasal aspirator...seriously they can send a man to the moon but that's the best they can come up with for baby snot removal?

2. the teething process and everything that goes with it...

3. the sleepless son finally started sleeping through the night when he hit the age of 2 1/ daughter is 15 months old...hopefully she appreciates the benefit of a full night's rest long before he brother did...

Yummy Mummy Club: BSides

Yummy Mummy Club

My dream of the ultimate musical performances line-up during an awards show.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Funky ties...

Say goodbye to boring ties and hello to unique funky fashion statements!
Perfect for any man in your life!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A quote about women....

Sent to me from my friend Sophia....not sure who said this fine quote...

Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater.
If you give her sperm, she'll give you a baby.
If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.
So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.

Facebook status for Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Isabella....

This bedtime of 3:30am has to stop. Mommy is very tired. Today no afternoon nap for you. So tell your little one year old brain and body that bedtime is now 7:30PM. Suck it up little girl. Mommy's house, mommy's rules. You can hate me when you are a teenager.

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Another forward worth reading....

Two Choices

What would you do?
You make the choice.

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.
The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run first! Run to first!'
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.
He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!' Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.
All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'
Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!'
As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.
Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!


We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second
thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.
The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but
public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.

If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.' So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

You now have two choices:
1. Delete
2. Forward
May your day, be a Shay Day.

See sarcasm gets things done....

Finally got rid of the most annoying Twitter spam...and all it took was one sarcastic email exchange...


Somehow I inadvertently signed up for your daily spam outs on Twitter....please remove me from your's gotten to the point where it's getting annoying....
My Twitter name is cbernardi.

Thank you,
Extremely frustrated.


Read the rules first before using my site again and if you want it to stop then login to close the account at the bottom.


Oh I fully admit I am the idiot....
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly...I really appreciate it.


And closed the account I did.

Two more adds for 'My Favourite Things' list...

First up: A Spoonful of Chocolate recycled book handbags....hello Oprah would love these...

Ultimately 100% of all profits will go to the handbag designer's father, who is facing losing the house he built with his own two hands.

Plus she'll even make you a custom item: "Please note, custom orders do take time. It takes extra time to find the perfect book and fabric therefore I charge $45 for a custom book handbag and $22.50 for a custom book passport holder."

And second on the list & yet another Oprah would love & 'O' are so alike...le sigh:

Not a huge flats fan...something to do with being 5'1 and my mom constantly drilling into me that when you're short you should always wear heels...yeah well try that with two kids ages 3 and 1 and who are always on the go...but I digress.

I have finally found a pair that I have been wearing religiously every day since I got them. The name of these must have ballet shoes is "Pretty Ballerinas".

The flats are tres chic, super comfortable, superior quality, beautifully hand-made and they give a boost to my daily mommy uniform of jeans and tank tops. And the pink boxes they come in are totally reminiscent of the ones my first ballet shoes came in when I took ballet classes at Greta Leeming School of Dance.

Pretty Ballerinas was created in 2005 and is a division of MASCARĂ“, a family-based
company founded in 1918 and the best news is they'll be opening up their first North American boutique in Montreal [in Westmount on Victoria Avenue] in early Fall 2009...yay for Canada!

Pretty Ballerinas, already has quite the celebrity following, including: Kylie Minogue, Kate Moss, and Lindsay Lohan. And the much anticipated boutique is already creating quite the buzz here in Canada

The Canadian website will be be launching this Fall [2009] and the ultimate bonus for the trendiest of fashionistas, a limited number of each style will be produced so the ballet flats maintain their exclusivity. To quote one Paris Hilton, 'That's like so hot.'

Happy shopping!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

So forthcoming with the truth

Last night my husband and I, along with another couple, went out for a fabulous dinner sans enfants. It was the first time that the four of us have gone out in almost 2 years for an adults only dinner escape [see what children do?].

We went to a fabulous restaurant, Petit Bill's Bistro, for some lobster divine. It truly was a poutine heaven eating experience and throw in a glass of wine and it was almost orgasmic. Yeah I know I need to get out more. But I digress.

Throughout the dinner we kept doing the 'Shhh listen, do you hear that? That's right no screaming, crying, whining kids...' We love our kids to death, we do, but sometimes a dinner without the required 100 interruptions and at least 2 tantrums is a welcomed change of pace. For the sanity of the adults if nothing else.

When we got home my sister, the night's babysitter, looked exhausted and said, "They were really good tonight...busy but good," and before she walked out the door she added, "Oh and Isabella may have had some toilet water to drink...just so you know." Ahhh yes nothing completes a day in the life of my 1 year old daughter, without her having some face to face interaction with the water in the toilet bowl. Now there is one fascination phase that I hope ends sooner rather than later.

This morning, my son was standing next to my bed waiting for me to wake up. I got my good-morning kiss and hug and then he proceeds with the play by play details of the night before..."Mommy we had so much fun with Zia last night. It was really fun. But Zia had a lot of work to do...there was the cereal that I dropped on your bed and then Isabella dropped cereal all over the office on the floor and I got toothpaste all over the bathroom and Isabella was thirsty so she drank water from the toilet again. Zia was tired. But she still loves us. I'm so sorry Mommy for the mess we made. But it's OK you can clean it up today. Are you not mad that I spilled cereal on the bed? Zia said I could eat cereal on your bed. OK I'm hungry let's go have breakfast now."

Here's hoping that my little 3 year old is this forthcoming with the truth when he's a teenager. I know things will be hidden, truths untold, stories fabricated and lies told but for now I'll take the innocence that is a 3 year old who comes clean with the real story because he doesn't know any differently.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

BeechNut Let's Grow! Tummy Trays: take 2

Alright apparently it's the soft hearted mom in me that sucked up my hard lined 'one chance only' code that once ruled my world, but I caved in and I decided to give the BeechNut Let's Grow! toddler meal option one more chance. I'm such a sucker.

Confession: OK FINE drag it out of me. I had nothing in the fridge the other night and I was way too tired to cook anything. So during my travels to go grab take-out [note to trainer: yes it was a healthy choice...or as healthy as I could find] I stopped in at Shopper's Drug Mart and grabbed the Mac & Cheese Tummy Tray.

And because the mission of my 1 year old daughter is to constantly contradict me and prove me wrong, it really should not have surprised me in the least that she absolutely loved the 30-second mac & cheese zapped meal in the microwave oven.

Now grant it, it really hard to screw up mac & cheese but I'll give props where props are due. The fact that my daughter devoured the entire tray with a certain sense of gusto I was impressed. And because I have a policy that I have to try everything that I give my kids, I did the mommy duty and took a bite. And I must say that it was fairly actually had some good flavouring going on and the noodles were cooked perfectly that it makes for an easy chewing and swallowing process for toddlers.

Now let's not kid ourselves here, ______ (insert name of five star restaurant here) won't be serving it on their menu anytime soon, but in those desperate "there is nothing, I don't want to make nuthin' moments' we all face as we stare blankly into the fridge wishing we had access to a private chef, this is one food option that totally works in a pinch.

So hats off to you BeechNut on your Mac & Cheese Tummy Tray. I have four stacked away in the pantry for emergency 'mommy is having a cooking meltdown' purposes.

So to review:

The BeechNut Let's Grow! Tomato Tummy Tray - total why bother situation due to the suckage of the product

The BeechNut Let's Grow! Mac & Cheese Tummy Tray
- two thumbs up from the picky- foodie-in-the-making-1-year-old and one 'has an apparent soft spot for BeechNut' mommy.

Now off to the kitchen to make lunch...and maybe if I click my heels three times before I open the fridge, the meal fairy will have left something totally fabulous that I just have to reheat....yeah I know, wishful thinking.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Things that make me go hmmmmmm?

A little reflection on the week thus far...

1. Why is it that my 3 year old son takes on the properties of slow moving molasses when I need him to do something [i.e: get changed, eat lunch, eat dinner, put socks on etc.] and yet he instantly morphs into Olympic record setting Michael Phelps when I leave the room for 2 minutes to change his sister's diaper and he manages to empty an entire box of crackers onto the floor and starts spreading peanut butter on them because he wants to have a picnic?

2. Had I known that my 3 year old son would be occupied for a good solid hour with one roll of Scotch Tape, the room of toys he now has never would have never seen the light of day.

3. Why is it that my daughter can sleep through a parade of construction trucks driving by her window, her brother's whining and phones ringing but the minute mommy sits down to starts typing a blog she wakes up? Really I don't type that loudly.

4. Why is it that my 3 year old can't hear me asking him to do something when I am sitting right next to him but he magically hears me whisper-cursing when I'm in a different part of the house?

5. Why is it that my son forgets basic yelling, no hitting, no screaming, no saying the word 'hate' on an hourly basis yet if I do something, like I don't know like yell, he instantly can list off the rules of the time out chair, including the 'if you get out of the time out chair before the timer beeps, I'm going to start the clock again'?

6. My 3 year old son won't walk across the balance beam at his gymnastics class but climbing all the way up to the top of the bookcase in the problem.

7. My 1 year old daughter is a fairly picky eater but put her outside and suddenly dirt and sand are a Foodie's most sought after culinary feast, why?

8. Why is it that both my 3 year old and 1 year old can turn on the DVD player, TV and stereo and yet the simple instruction of 'please stay in your room' completely confuses them, like I'm asking them a question about geophysics?

9. Why is it that my 3 year old son complains of being bored playing in his room filled with toys yet he'll watch the same episodes of Olivia, Ruby & Max and Hard Hat Harry over and over again, like it's the first time he's ever seen them every single time?

10. Why is it that both my kids get their second wind exactly 10 minutes before mommy's show that she really wants to watch is about to start? I swear it's because they know we have the PVR feature...damn the kids and their tech savvy ways.

Too much thinking....time for mindless TV...'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' it is.

Monday, June 01, 2009


My cousin Pina sent me this....totally worth the re-post.
This is something we should all read at least once a week.

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland ,Ohio.

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me..
It is the most-requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone and everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Its estimated 93% won't forward this. If you are one of the 7% who will,

Remember friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.