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Monday, June 30, 2008

Miracle Monday - Baby Grace Update

Welcome to another edition of Miracle Monday!

I would like to thank everyone for their kind words last week. It is nice to know that even though I am not getting a lot of miracles each week, the ones that are being written about and linked back here, are inspiring to those that visit.

This week I would like to give an update on Baby Gracie. Gracie's mom, Amanda, posted this timeline on their Caringbridge site highlighting all of the medical ups and downs of Gracie's life.

Through all of this they have not lost their faith in God and to me, that is a miracle in itself! Notice at the bottom, Amanda calls Gracie's life "112 days of MIRACLES"! I would agree!

Born March 7, 2008
Life Flight to Duke March 8
March 9-12 CODED w/CPR--Apnia spells-Quit breathing in daddy's arms--Heart rate drops
March 12- Heart rate drops (5 in 10 minutes)
March 13-Open Heart Surgery-came off EKMO
March 14-18--Great recovery (extubated March 17, going to stepdown on March 19)
March 19--CODED--1 hour of CPR (No brain damage) Placed back on EKMO
March 23- Came off EKMO on Easter Sunday
March 25- Chest closed
March 26-April 6-- Grim time--Gracie filled with fluid, had many strange heart rhythms, some heart drops
April 7-- Doctors feel Gracie is turning the page towards recovery
April 9-- Gracie has 4 heart blocks-Heart "flat lines"--CODES (Code alarm is sounded 3 times) CPR w/once again, no brain damage!
April 10-15-- Gracie is hooked up to external pacemaker which catches 30+ heart drops (heart blocks)
April 15- Gracie has surgery for internal pacemaker--(Post surgery has very low heart rate and pacemaker range has to be changed)
April 16-19- Gracie has numerous heart drops with very little stimulation. Pacemaker catches heart rate.
Doctors find clot in atrium.
Fluid develops again--worse than ever and Gracie is put on Jet Ventilator (very high support)
April 19-- Doctor calls family in and says Gracie looks "grim" and may not survive the day
April 22--Gracie has heart cath, receives Broviac line in liver and cut-down arterial line. Doctors find she has a 3:1 Sano shunt--(very rare).
April 26- Gracie CODES AGAIN w/ pacemaker. CPR and emergency medicines!
May 2-- Gracie has collapsed lung for 2 hours when chest tube comes loose
May 6-- Gracie is diagnosed with Hepatitius C
May 9-- Hepatitus C test proven false!
May 16-- Gracie has spinal tap to check for meningitus
May 23-- Gracie's T-Cells come back low and doctors send tests for Digeorge or SKIDS--Gracie put in isolation.
Left chest tube is pulled!! AMEN
May 26-- Initial test show Gracie is partial Digeorge--Gracie comes out of isolation
May 29-- Echo discovers another clot in Gracie's heart (atrium)
May 30-June 11- "Feeding and Growing time"
June 10- Right chest tube pulled!!
June 11--Gracie placed back in isolation b/c of late Digeorge results.
Mommy holds Gracie!!
June 12-- Gracie's lung collapses and she receives a second spinal tap because of persistent high fevers! Gracie gets another right chest tube!
Daddy holds Gracie!!!! First time in a long time!
June 13--Gracie is extubated for almost 6 hours!
June 14-20-- Waiting to extubate again. More high fevers! Right chest tube pulled again (June 20). Heart medications successfully weaned.
June 23-27-- Gracie battles Infection and puffiness once again.

Please keep praying for Baby Gracie.

If you would like to share a miracle, it's simple. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below. Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog. If you have any questions, email me and I will be glad to help you. My email address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday and thanks for participating!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Graveyard Treats and More Mention of my Coolness

I think I've mentioned before how cool I am.

You'll just have to trust me on that one because I'm too lazy to link to other posts where I've actually mentioned or implied how cool I am.

I think I've also mentioned before how lazy I am and once again, you'll have to take my word for it because I'm too lazy to...well, you know where I'm going with this.

I have a cookbook full of spooky Halloween recipes. My kids are obsessed with this book. They will drag it out and look at the pictures for days on end.

And inevitably they will ask me if we can make something from it. I'll always say "sure" and then they will forget about it before I can get the necessary ingredients. Because I don't know about you, but I don't have candy corn in the house in June.

We've had the book for two years and we've actually made quite a few things from it- a cake shaped like Frankenstein's head, little pizzas that look like mummies, hot dogs wrapped up in bread stick dough to look like mummies, grilled cheese sandwiches with jack-o-lantern faces in them and Sloppy Joe's with spooky faces on the buns.

But they have been harassing me to make something more exciting than a grilled cheese with a face cut into it. And since I am so cool and I want this summer to be "fun, fun, nothing but fun" for my kids, I decided to indulge them.

The last time I went to the store, I got the ingredients to make "Graveyard Treat" and on Sunday afternoon, we made it.

And after all the whining and complaining to get the ingredients and the begging to make it, about half way through, Peter looked out the window and said, "Jacob and Caleb are outside! And they are riding in their golf cart! Can we go play with them?"

And I did a very uncool mom thing and I told them no and gave them a lecture of finishing what they start.

And then I made them stay inside and finish what they started.

And here is our masterpiece:
And here is a picture from "Frightfully Fun Halloween Recipes" showing exactly what it is supposed to look like. As you can see, we made some minor modifications but I still think ours turned out great.

Go here for the recipe if you want to make this graveyard with your kids.

I know it's only June, but they will think you are really cool. At least until their friends with the golf cart come outside to play.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

I know you are, but what am I?

On Tuesday, the ice cream man came by the house and the kids bought ice cream - with their own money. I'm so mean.

It was right before dinner so I told them they could have the ice cream but they couldn't have any dessert after dinner. Hey dessert before dinner! I'm so much fun!

I figured that was a fair trade.

They happily agreed and ate their ice cream. Minutes after eating the ice cream, Sarah saunters over to me and puts her sticky little hand on her hip and said, "Mommy, can we have dessert after supper too?"

"No. Remember I told you if you ate the ice cream from the ice cream man, you weren't going to have dessert after dinner."

"Well, I want dessert after dinner too!" She said stomping her foot.

"Well you can't have it." I said.


"Well. Well. You're fat!" she said and stomped away.

"I know you are, but what am I?" I said and stomped away.

O.k. I didn't really say that, but I wanted to. Instead she got the lecture on not saying mean things to people and hurting other people's feelings. blah, blah, blah

It would have been much more fun the other way though.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How To Create a Favicon in Blogger - Works For Me Wednesday

Last week I created my very own little favicon.

For those that don't know, according to Icon J, a favicon is a "little icon that appear next to the web address at the top of your browser. The little icon is an special .ICO icon format and named FavIcon (short for "favorites icon"). And it also appears in your browser' Tabs and Bookmarks."

Basically it helps your website stand out in a list of websites. But, I just think it's really cute! So I created one of my very own last week. And several of you asked how I did it.

It was quite easy actually. I found this website using my best friend Google and it really did all the work.

Step 1. I already had an image that I wanted to use so I just went to Icon J's favicon generator and this website to all the work. I browsed my computer until I found the image I wanted to use and then I hit "Upload It".

Step 2. Icon J's will do a little work and then it will come up with two options - Direct Down Load or Hosting the Favicon for you. I chose to have them host it. It's free and that seemed to be the easiest method for me. So I went with the Direct Link option.

Step 3. Copy the HTML code that they generate for you under the Direct Link method.

Step 4. Here's where it gets just a little tricky. You will need to edit your Blogger template. I got a little nervous doing this. You should always back up your template before you change it. Just a little note - if you mess up your template - I won't know how to fix it! So, please proceed cautiously!

Now go to your blog and click on "Layout" in the Dashboard. Then click the "Edit HTML" tab.

Now you will need to search for the word “title” , this should be inside the header tags.You should find something that looks like this:


Just after that line, paste the text you copied from Icon J's in Step 3. After you have pasted it, click "Save Template".

That's it! That's all you have to do! You should now have a cute little favicon!

For more great tips and tricks, head on over to Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Miracle Monday

If you will remember, I started Miracle Monday because I felt like I heard God's voice in the shower telling me to do it.

So I did it.

How can you hear God's voice and not do what he wants you to do?

At at that first edition of Miracle Monday way back in March, 20 people left miracles. I was thrilled! I knew of course that I probably wouldn't get 20 miracles every week but I figured, God was in charge so anything is possible.

And over the last 16 weeks, I have gotten fewer and fewer miracles. And now, I have about 2 miracles posted every week.

Last week, I contemplated putting an end to Miracle Monday. I was a little embarrassed that there were only 2 miracles every week. This Miracle Monday thing was making me and my blog look bad! What was God thinking?? Why did he ask me to start this only to let it fizzle out?

But last Monday morning as I contemplated putting an end to Miracle Monday, I heard that voice again. And this time, the voice said, "I started this. I'll tell you when to stop it."

So. Once again, I listened to God and told myself, "If he only wants a couple of miracles a week. That's fine with me. I'll keep doing it and when I'm supposed to stop I guess he will tell me." So I posted another post. And granted, I did it a begrudgingly. (Sorry, Lord. I'm still a work in progress.)

And only two miracles were posted. And I was a little bummed out. And I thought, "Why am I doing this? What's the point?"

And then on Wednesday, I got an email from a friend who had read one of the miracles that had been posted on Monday. She wrote, and I quote, "God used your blog as a vehicle to remind me that He's in control and has heard my prayers."

I was thrilled when I read this! I guess Miracle Monday doesn't have to be big to have an impact!

God does know what he's doing after all. Why do I ever doubt Him? He keeps showing me time and time again. All I have to do is be quiet and listen. And let go of my vanity and my pride.

Do you have a miracle you want to post? Has God been speaking to you? Perhaps he wants you to write about it. Perhaps your miracle will comfort someone or help them in a way you will never know.

If you would like to share a miracle, it's simple. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below. Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog. If you have any questions, email me and I will be glad to help you. My email address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday and thanks for participating!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

There's A Sucker Born Every Minute

Last weekend we took the kids to the circus. It was the first time we have ever taken our kids to a show of any sort.


Her kids are 4 and 5 and she's never taken them to a show! The horrors!

I decided early on that I wasn't going to be carting my kids around to shows just because every one else was doing it. We are way to cheap for that.

So until last weekend they had never been to a circus. They have also never been to the Ice Capades or even to the movies.


Her kids are 4 and 5 and she's never taken them to the movies! The horrors!

But here's the thing. It's not that I don't want to take my kids to these things. It's just that I want my kids to want to do these things.

So about a month ago, the kids asked out of the blue when we would take them to the circus and I told them we would as soon as it came to town. Little did I know it was coming to town.

Darn TV commercials.


She let's her kids watch TV shows with commercials! The horrors!

So, anyway, we got tickets to the Greatest Show On Earth. The kids were very excited about going to the circus and kept asking "how many days till we go to the circus?" Over and over again.

I was tired of the circus before we even got there.

And as excited as they were about going to the circus, they were even more excited about getting snacks at the circus. They kept asking if they could get popcorn and cotton candy at the circus.

So we promised them popcorn and cotton candy.

And I was smug thinking how cheap we were going to get off.

Popcorn and cotton candy? Ha!

As soon as we got to the show, we started looking for the concession stand. I knew we were in trouble as soon as I realized that the only thing they were selling at the regular coliseum concession stand was drinks. Everything else had to be purchased at an official Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey concession stand.

I asked the clown running the concession stand (and it was a clown, I'm not trying to be funny) how much the cotton candy was.

Clown: $10

Me: What? $10 for cotton candy? Are you kidding me?

Clown: It's $10 ma'am (I hate it when clowns call me ma'am). But you are getting three different colored fluffs of cotton candy AND a souvenir clown hat.

Me: Well how much is the popcorn?

Clown: It's $6.

Me: $6 for popcorn? Really?

Clown: Yes, ma'am (how old do I look??). But it comes in a box the size of a cereal box and it's decorated with fun circus images.

So we bought the popcorn and we bought the cotton candy and then we paid $4 for a drink at the regular concession stand. Because Ringling Bros. were selling shaved ice and lemon aid in souvenir cups for $10-$14 depending on whether your cup was shaped like a clown, an elephant or a tiger.

My poor underprivileged kids had to settle for a plain cup-shaped cup with the words Coca-Cola printed on it. Nothing souvenir about it.

Other than paying too much for our concessions, we really enjoyed Boom A Ring. It was Ringling's one ring circus which is smaller than their normal circus and just the right size for a 4 year old and a 5 year old.

There were elephants, tigers and trained chihuahuas. Because what's a circus without chihuahuas?

And there were clowns, jugglers, and tight rope walkers.

And unlike the 18 month old kid sitting in front of me who watched me the whole show, my kids actually paid attention and really seemed to enjoy themselves.

And just in case you are wondering. And I know you are...

This is what three fluffs of cotton candy and a souvenir hat look like at the circus.

It's like P.T. Barnum said..."There's a sucker born every minute."

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Friday, June 20, 2008

I hope he doesn't hate me for this when he's older.

Yesterday evening, I heard lots of giggling coming from the playroom. Then my son runs out and says, "Look at me, Mommy! Look at me!" And as I turn around, this is what I saw.

And of course I said, "Let me take your picture!" Normally when I say this he gets annoyed and doesn't want his picture taken but he was all for it. In fact, he decided to pose like a tough man.

A tough man in a tutu and a floppy hat.
I put my camera away and he scurried back into the playroom where I heard more giggling and then he came out dressed like this:
He had changed skirts and added some lovely pink heels. And he requested that I take another photo. And of course, I obliged.

He and his sister retreated back into the playroom and he came back out like this:

But I think the skirt, boa and pink teddy bear were too much for his testosterone to handle because the next time he came out of the playroom, he looked like this:

A pirate with a gun. Now that's more like it.
And Daddy, you can rest easy. I don't think the dresses, heels and boa will be a permanent play item for Peter.
It was just a fun afternoon of playing make believe with Sarah. And Mommy's camera.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

They named him what?

Am I cool or what?

Before you answer that, look up at the top of your screen where you typed my blog address.

Do you see the little flower up there? Isn't it just the cutest thing?

It's called a favicon and whenever you see that up there, you'll know that you are here, visiting me at "A Mom's Life".

Although you would have probably know that anyway since you typed in my blog address. But I thought it was cute. And I've seen other blogs that have one, so I wanted one. After doing a quick Google search, I found directions on how to do it and TAH DAH!

I think I've mentioned my feelings for Google.

Just in case you didn't know, I puffy heart Google.

Does saying that I puffy heart something make me less cool? I see that phrase all over Blog Land and just couldn't wait to have a reason to include it on one of my very own posts.

I follow the trends instead of creating them. That's how cool I am.

Anyway, I was flipping through my People magazine this morning and

Let me pause here for a minute to let you know that whenever I refer to People magazine I will always refer to it as my People magazine.

I'm not sure why, but I do it every time. You would never hear me say, 'I was reading my Reader's Digest last night" or "I can't wait to read my Kraft Food and Family magazine".

I guess it's the same as my grandmother referring to "Days of Our Lives" and "As The World Turns" as her stories. They brought her pleasure so they were hers. My People magazine brings me pleasure so it is mine.

Anyway, I was flipping through my People magazine this morning and I came across a little article about Rooster McConaughey. Rooster is Matthew's older brother and apparently he is appearing in truTV's new show "Black Gold".

Rooster (I am assuming that Rooster is a nickname) has a two year old son.

His name is Miller Lyte McConaughey.

Yep. That's right. They named this kid Miller Lyte.

And yes, it is because, to quote Rooster, "Miller Lite is about all I drink. My wife said I could name our child if it was a boy and she'd pick the name if we had a girl. She was scared to death I'd name her Jenny for Genuine Draft."

Hmmm...the wife would mind Jenny for a girl but doesn't seem to mind Miller Lyte for a boy?

I'm beginning to second guess the names I have chosen for my children.

Perhaps I should have gone with "Dyet Koke" or maybe "Koffy With Kryme And Lotz Of Splynda"?

Vidalia is sounding better and better all the time.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Chore Tracking With No Chore Chart!

In March, on a Backwards Works For Me Wednesday, I asked for suggestions for chores for 5 year olds,how to track them, how much to pay them, etc.

And wow! I have been getting multiple Google hits every day since then on that post.

But nothing worked for me.

I had decided that there should be some chores my kids should be doing for free just because they are part of the family and some extra bigger chores they should be doing for allowance so they can understand how to save and spend their own money.

But there were so many problems with this plan.

I couldn't figure out what "bigger" chores my kids could do to earn money. So my son, who was excited at the prospect of earning money, started to nickle and dime me. "Mom I just made my bed, can I have some money?" or "Mom, what big things can I do to earn some money today?"

And then I couldn't figure out an easy way to keep track of everything. The thought of chore charts and stickers made my head spin.

I knew what would happen if I instituted a chart. After day two, I would be following the kids around yelling because something hadn't been done on the list. That seemed to defeat the whole purpose of the kids being helpful. I did not want checking chores off a chore chart to become another one of my chores.

I was at a loss. I didn't know the best way to proceed but I knew that this summer, one of my goals was to get the kids to help me around the house.

After a play date where many of the moms were gnashing their teeth over chore charts, raising responsible kids, how much allowance is too much allowance, my friend Jennifer and I had our own discussion.

Jennifer has four kids so she needs all the help she can get. And when she said, "I just want them to help me out when I ask" a light bulb went off in my head!

I formulated a simple plan and that night at dinner I told my kids about the plan.

And here's the ingenious plan:

Whenever I ask them to do something to help me around the house, they are to do it right away without whining and complaining and they will each receive $2 at the end of the week.

My son was so excited to finally be able to earn some money he wanted to know when we could get started.

We've only been doing this for two weeks now but so far so good.

My son makes his bed every morning before coming downstairs. My son and daughter clear their plates now without being reminded.

They help me fold laundry without whining. They help me dust and seem excited to do it. They help me clean crumbs with the Dust Buster. They help me water the plants. They help set the table.

And because the conditions of earning their pay are that they must do it when I ask and without complaining they have been doing it when I ask and without complaining!

And best of all, because they are helping me when I ask for help - THERE IS NO CHORE CHART!

This is the best of all worlds for our family and so far - it's working for me!

For more Works for Me Wednesday, visit Shannon!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What's in a name?

My husband and I are both fairly traditional people. And you can tell this by our name choices for our children. We stuck with traditional, Biblical names that have been around for thousands of years.

There will be no questioning the pronunciation or spelling with names like Peter and Sarah. These names won't leave people scratching their heads wondering what we were thinking.

And while we have chosen traditional, some might even say boring, names for our children, I have always enjoyed hearing what other people are going to name their children. And I have always enjoyed hearing names that are out of the ordinary and wondering if I could have ever had the nerve to name my kid something unusual.

Like the Seinfeld episode where George wants his baby to be named Seven. After that episode, I was thinking what a cool name that would be. But I'm not cool enough or trendy enough to pull off a name like that, so I knew any kid of mine wouldn't be either.

Although, one might argue that giving a kid a name like Seven would mean that by default, they would become cool and trendy to live up to the cool and trendy name. But that's not something I was willing to play around with on my kids so we stuck with boring traditional.

Several years ago, I was at a park with my kids and I noticed a mom with twin boys. Then I heard her call one of them, "Easton, get down off the slide!" And I thought to myself, Easton? Must be a family name. Wonder what the other little boys name is? And as I was thinking to myself, Oh, no! I hope it's not...

"Weston! Stop throwing dirt at Easton!"

Oh, no! She did not name her twins Easton and Weston, I kept thinking to myself. But she really did. And for some reason, for the rest of the day I couldn't get the Pet Shop Boys song West End Girls out of my head.

In a West End town, a dead end world
The East End boys and West End girls

But as time has passed, I can sort of see how she and her husband might have thought this was a good idea. And as time has passed, I can sort of see how it works as an interesting alternative to rhyming twin names. Even though, I don't really even think people do that any more.

And who am I to judge? This same mom would probably think Peter and Sarah are the two most boring traditional kid names in the world. But, I would have to argue with her and explain the difference between traditional and boring. And there is a difference...just ask my husband.

Anyway, I was at the pool one day last week waiting for Jennifer to arrive with her kids. I heard another mom holler to one of her kids, "Vidalia! Get over her so I can get some more sunscreen on your back!"

My ears perked up. I cocked my head and thought to myself, Vidalia? Did she really just call her kid Vidalia? I must have heard that wrong.

So I listened closer and I heard it again. "Vidalia! I said get over her!"

My mouth dropped open. I could not even begin to imagine naming your child after an onion.

An onion!

Now granted, Vidalias are the sweetest, best tasting onion ever created. Just ask anyone in the South. But naming your child after one?! I had never heard of this before!

I'm trying to cut this mom some slack. Perhaps, this girl was conceived in the town of Vidalia, Georgia - the town the best tasting onion in the world is named after.

Or, perhaps Vidalia is just a really, really old Southern name that I've never heard of. I'm in North Carolina which may not be Deep South enough for this name.

Or, perhaps this mom was trying to outdo the people in Hollywood. Because if Gwyneth Paltrow can name her daughter Apple, why can't this mom name her daughter Vidalia?

Or, perhaps this mom just really likes onions?

I'm not going to judge because as William Shakespeare put it so eloquently:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose onion
By any other name would smell as sweet."

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Miracle Monday

Welcome to another edition of Miracle Monday.

Today I would like to highlight a sweet miracle posted by Mary a few weeks ago.

Many years ago, Mary was heading to the attic to get the Christmas decorations. She was dreading Christmas and all that came with it because her teenage son Don, had been killed in a car accident 6 months before.

Prior to his death, Mary's son was in the habit of taking a label maker and punching out little messages and leaving them all over the house.

As she headed to the attic with a heavy heart, she stopped to lay her head on the attic door and cried out over and over again, "Don, I love you. I love you. I love you."

She looked right above her head and noticed a little plastic label that had been taped on the door and it read, "I love you."

Mary stopped. It was as if her son was speaking to her right then and there!

Mary wasn't sure when Don stuck the label on the door, and she and her husband had been in and out of that attic door many times since his death. She likes the way her husband put it, "It's was like God planted a seed, then hid it from view until time for it to bloom."

Thanks to Mary for sharing such a sweet miracle!

If you would like to share a miracle, it's simple. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below. Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog. If you have any questions, email me and I will be glad to help you. My email address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday and thanks for participating!

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

The world's cutest t-ball trophy. Ever.

Just wanted to share these pictures of the t-ball trophy my kids got this year. Isn't he adorable? It's a baseball bobble head!

I must admit that I'm a little jealous though. The trophies I got as a kid had a very 1970's vibe to them.

I guess I should cut the coaches some slack since it was indeed, the 1970's. But still.

These are adorable and I won't mind dusting around them for the next 12 years.

And I'm sure when their kids have kids playing t-ball, they will be saying, "Those trophies look so 2008 compared to the cool trophies they have now."

Progress. I guess you can't stop it.

And don't forget about Miracle Monday. Write a post about a miracle that you have witnessed or experienced and link back to it here on Monday morning.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Another new Sarah hair-do.

This is how Sarah wanted to wear her hair a couple of days ago...

Looks normal right? Like a hair-do any other 4 year old would be sporting this summer, right?


This is another Sarah mandated hair-do. I wasn't exactly sure what she wanted but she yelled at me until I got it right. And boy, did she love this hair style. She beamed from ear to ear after I put the brush down.

And yes, we went out in public like this.

And yes, we got a few strange looks.

And no, she didn't care. She thought she looked like a million bucks.

And after I set aside my preconceived notions of how my little girl should look, I realized that she did look like a million bucks.

I have a lot to learn from my kids.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

My son, the counterfeiter.

Yesterday at the pool, Peter stopped playing with his friend Colton and came running over to me and said, "Mommy! When I grow up I'm not going to have a job. I'm just going to make lots of money!"

"That's not how it works, sweetheart. You have to have a job to make money," I replied.

"No. I'm not going to EARN it. I'm going to MAKE it," he said as if he couldn't believe why I didn't understand what he was saying.

"Oh, sweetie, only the government can make money. If you try to do it you will get in trouble and get put in jail. It's called counterfeiting," I explained.

"Oh. I better go tell Colton." And he went back into the pool to hatch a new plan.

Only five years old and he's already trying to figure out ways to get out of work. Perhaps I should believe him when he tells me he is going to live in my house forever. I guess I better get plumbing installed in the basement...

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is anyone else bummed out by this or is it just me?,,20202699,00.html

I'm married.

He's way to young for me.

He's about to embark on a wonderful music career.

I'm about to head the kitchen to clean the breakfast dishes.

But still, if he has to have a girlfriend, does it have to be her?

**sulks off to kitchen***

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Works For Me Wednesday - Ice Cream Cone Cup Cakes

Last Wednesday was Sarah's fourth birthday and we had several of her friends over for a party. There was no real theme and no real games. Just a craft and a pinata.

But I did make the cutest cupcakes and thought I would share them with you.


1 box of cupcake mix
2 tubs of frosting
2 boxes of ice cream cones
Decorative Candy - sprinkles, colored Twizzlers, pull-apart Twizzlers, gum drops, candy fruit slices


Prepare the cupcake mix according to directions on box.

Fill ice cream cones about 3/4 full.

Place filled cups in mini muffin pan.

***Please note - after these are baked and decorated, they will be top heavy and will be subject to tipping over. I speak from experience. Be very careful!***

Bake 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Frost generously when cupcakes have cooled.

Then cover with sprinkles and top with half of a gum drop.

If you are feeling extra crafty, you can even decorate with other candy to make all sorts of designs.

Sarah had chosen a butterfly pinata so I attempted to make some butterflies on top of the cupcakes.

I cut candy fruit slices in half for the wings. And used colored Twizzlers for the body. (You could also use gummy worms...that might look more realistic.) Then I cut little bits of pull-apart Twizzlers for the antenna.

They were easy to make and the kids loved them and that works for me!

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips and tricks, head over to Shannon's place.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I will admit it.

I sent the kids to the playroom.

I bent down.

I put my hand in the bottom of the trashcan.

I picked up the two halves of the cracker.

I brought the cracker pieces to my mouth and...

I relished every last bite of that delicious Breton Original cracker.

And then I licked my lips and took a couple of swigs of orange juice straight from the carton .

But just so you don't think I'm totally gross, the carton was empty after my two swigs so I threw it away. And I actually left it in the trash can where it belonged.

Evidence that I am not a complete bum.

Although Jerry Seinfeld might disagree.

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Cracker Barrel

A couple of weeks ago, as I was making sure I had everything for my daughter's family birthday party, my husband asked, "Do you have something for cracker barrel?"

"No," I replied. "Do I need something for cracker barrel?"

My husbands response was something along the lines of "Well, duh. Of course you need something for cracker barrel" but it was a little more respectful and grown-up sounding.

And if you are wondering, "cracker barrel" is what my husband's family calls sitting around the table late in the evening after dinner and before bedtime. While they are sitting around the table they are talking, discussing politics, local happenings, what they've been up to, etc. while having a snack. This snack is usually cheese, crackers, and a summer sausage.

I'm not sure the origins of cracker barrel but I am assuming that it started after the 4 kids left home and began coming back to visit. This was probably my in-laws way of really having a chance to catch up with their kids.

And it makes sense. Sitting around the table talking and snacking at the end of the day, after all of the work and busyness is done, is a nice way to keep up with your kids when they are home for a visit.

And did I mention? My in-laws don't have cable. So watching Top Chef or The Soup is out of the question. At their house, in the evenings, you are either reading or talking. Hmmm...pretty novel concept...

So the next day, I headed back out to the store for the fourth time. I'm not sure why I can never seem to get everything I need for a family visit on my first trip to the store. But for some reason, I get home and whoops - forgot the milk! Or whoops - forgot the bread! And I have to go back.

That week, it wasn't just the greeter at Wal-Mart (Sue, very nice lady by the way) who was greeting me, it was also the cashiers.

Anyway, I purchased a block of cheese (Cracker Barrel brand actually, because it just seems fitting to have Cracker Barrel cheese at cracker barrel) and a box of Breton Original crackers.

I tried to find a summer sausage but Wal-Mart didn't have any. I even went to a fancy grocery store after I left Wal-Mart and guess what? They had a summer sausage but they wanted $8.99 for it and I swear, it was so small I could have gobbled it up myself in a couple of bites.

On the first night of my father-in-law's visit, we sat around the table for cracker barrel. I got out the cheese and the crackers. I had never had any of these Breton crackers before and let me tell you what, they were good. They were light and crispy. They were made of wheat but they weren't too wheat-y. They were just right.

And that Cracker Barrel brand cheese? It was delicious. I guess it has been a while since I've had name brand cheese. I normally just buy the generic cheese and tell myself that it tastes the same. Well, I'm here to tell you - it doesn't.

After the weekend was over, there was a little cheese and a few crackers left. The kids were hungry for a snack. My kids are always hungry for a snack. So I decided to share my cheese and crackers with them.

My first instinct was to throw them the box of Whales (generic Goldfish to those of you who may not know) and hide in the closet with the Breton crackers.

But, being the good mom that I am, I decided to share the last of the crackers with them even though I really, really wanted some more of those yummy crackers.

I'm all about sacrificing for my kids.

I could tell they enjoyed the non-generic cheese and crackers because, as I left the kitchen, crumbs were flying out of their mouths and they were giggling in delight.

However, when I returned, Sarah said, "I got full so I threw my last cracker away."

What? Did she say she just threw her last deliciously yummy non-generic cracker away?

I stood there hovering over the trash can and thoughts of George Costanza popped into my head. I know he was chastised for eating out of the trash can. But his girlfriend's mother caught him. And I'm only here with my kids. And they don't know they difference.

I wanted that cracker.

I figured it was probably laying on top of the trash. That would be all right? Wouldn't it?

I wanted that cracker.

I figured it couldn't have been in the trash can for more than 1 maybe 2 minutes. That would be all right wouldn't it?

Then this scene from Seinfeld started to play out in my mind:

Jerry: Was the eclair in the trash?

George: Yes.

Jerry: Then it was trash.

George: It wasn't down in; it was sort of on top.

Jerry: But it was in the cylinder.

George: Above the rim.

Jerry: Adjacent to refuse, is refuse.

George: It was on a magazine, and it still had the doily on.

Jerry: Was it eaten?

George: One little bite.

Jerry: Well, that's garbage.

Jerry: You, my friend, have crossed the fine line that divides man and bum. You are now a bum.

I opened the trash can and guess what I saw!

I had taken the trash out earlier and had not gotten around to replacing the bag! The trash can was empty except for the two halves of the uneaten Breton cracker!

Hmmmm....would Jerry have considered George a bum had he eaten the eclair out of an empty trash can?

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday so let's get right to it....

In June of 2005 , I watched a documentary on TLC called, "The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off".

It was the story of Jonny Kennedy. Jonny was a 36 year old from the UK who suffered from dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, which meant that his skin literally fell off at the slightest touch, leaving his body covered in agonizing sores and leading to his final fight against terminal skin cancer.

This documentary left me changed. I was not able to put it out of my mind. Nothing I had ever seen on TV had touched me like this.

I had never heard of this disease until I saw this documentary and I was horrified by it. This man lived 36 years in agony. He was born with no skin on his left leg. He was in pain virtually all of his life. I could not even begin to imagine how hard every day of his life was for him.

His mother spent 36 years taking care of him, redressing his bandages daily as he screamed out in pain. As a mother, I could not imagine how hard that must have been for her.

Yet this man (who looked like a frail little boy covered in scars) did not let his pain stop him. He started DebRA, a charity to raise money to promote awareness for and to find a cure for ED.

Right after he was diagnosed with skin cancer, he decided he wanted to do a documentary on his disease to help others better understand it. And that's how "The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off" was born.

I watched this show and cried through the whole thing. I felt horrible for this man and the pain he suffered as well as for the estimated 1 in every 50,000 children born with some form of it.

And for months and months after I saw this show, I thought about this disease and I prayed. I prayed for all the people suffering from this and I prayed for a cure.

I didn't know what else to do. So I enjoyed my healthy children. I watched them growing up with no pain and no suffering and all I could do for these other children that weren't so lucky was pray.

Yesterday, as as I sat at my breakfast table reading the newspaper, I saw this article.

It was a short article but it made me rejoice! A little boy from Minneapolis has been TREATED and CURED of this disease using stem cells from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow.


If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is!

And I am sure that Jonny Kennedy is celebrating with the angels right now!

If you are going to participate in Miracle Monday this week, it's simple. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below. Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog. It is important that you link to the Miracle Monday post so that when others are reading your miracle in the future, the link will take them directly to your miracle and not to the front of your blog.For an explanation on how to do this, please check here. Or, you can always email me and I will be glad to help you. My email address is in my profile.

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This edition of Miracle Monday is now closed. If you have a miracle you would like to share, please come back next Monday!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Where is Mommy's Camera?

Mommy: Where's my camera?

Sarah: Tee hee hee. I don't know. Tee hee hee.

Mommy panics and begins to search for the sound of the little giggling voice.

Mommy: Get down here right this minute young lady and give me my camera before you break it! I don't want to have to tell your father about this when he gets home!

Mommy hates it when she sounds like a 1950's sitcom housewife.

Mommy likes the blurry, shot-from-above, head-removed photo of herself.

Mommy begins to wonder if the family Christmas card picture could be shot this way.

Mommy sighs and decides she needs another cup of coffee.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quick conversation with Sarah on turning four.

Sarah: Mommy?

Me: Yes, sweetheart?

Sarah: I thought you said I was going to be four today.

Me: You are four today sweetheart. It's your birthday. Remember?

Sarah: Yes. But I still feel like the same me as yesterday.

I could only chuckle when she said that. Not sure how she was expecting to feel but she seemed a little disappointed that she had not experienced some grand transformation over night.

I, however, am glad she was exactly the same as she was the day before.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Four is...

A Tomboy
A Princess

Four is...beautiful.

Happy Birthday, Sarah!


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