Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Post at Whole Living

Hi! Today I am posting at about my journey to yoga.  Here's the link!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend, For Real

I would like to preface this post by saying I love Thanksgiving. What’s there not to love: food, a parade, baking, family togetherness, getting ready for Christmas.

So when I was feeling quite agitated after this holiday weekend, I have come to the conclusion that I like the *idea* of holidays. None of these things that I enjoy about the holiday ever turn out the way that I think they will. I am the Clark Griswold of our family. I wrote a bit about this on my Macomb Patch post, but as I was writing, there was so much more that came to mind after I clicked the publish button.

In less than twenty-four hours of our family togetherness, Thomas was having a meltdown because Marie was encroaching in on his time alone with me. As we debriefed from his timeout, Thomas growled through clenched, “Sissy needs to go to school.”

Wow. On the bright side, he is very clear in communicating his feelings, right?

So the most obvious fix to this situation was to do a group project in which they would have so much fun that they would totally forget that they were feeling crabby with each other. Baking cookies seemed like a good idea. Everything was going great until I put in the flour into the Kitchen Aid Mixer, and Thomas put the mixer on full force. A fine film of flour covered the floor, the counter, and a bit on the pumpkin pies that were cooling. Nice.

Thanksgiving was good, for the most part. I went to my parents’ house to help them with turkey while simultaneously working on The Raw Chicken Dare. However, I walked into a power struggle about how to cook a turkey between my Mom and Dad. (My Mom has thirty plus years of experience, and my Dad watched an Alton Brown show). The bird was still frozen and my Dad already had his hands in the turkey so he just took the icky parts out. And I didn’t fight him on it because I froze. I just couldn’t do it. But I am no quitter so I took that herbed butter and was elbow deep in raw turkey as I spread it between the skin and the meat. I promptly washed as I was scrubbing for surgery. There was something distinctly more disgusting about that twenty-five pound turkey than a little chicken.

Decorating for Christmas has always been a favorite activity of mine . . . until Thomas thought the ornaments were toys and would. Not. Stop. Touching. The. Tree. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown, especially when he moved a kitchen chair so he could reach the ornaments I hid out of his reach (but obviously not out of his eye sight).

This turn of events escalated the power struggle between Harrington and Thomas to new heights. (Imagine hearing, “Don’t! Touch!” followed by Thomas making intense eye contact with Harrington as he reached for another ornament). I thought that I was going to lose what little mind I had left.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the intense discussions I had with Harrington about our vision of external illumination. I want lots of love and sparkle, and his vision has less . . . um, sparkle. But I think we are coming together on this since he bought more lights to fill in the wacky shaped tree in our front yard.

We ended the weekend with dinner with my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and her family. It was a lot of fun watching The Babes play with their cousins. Since we were supposed to have a family photo taken, I worked really hard to make sure we all had nice, coordinating clothes cleaned and ironed. The picture never happened, but we all looked really cute, if I do say so myself.

So yes, I love the holidays. . . just like Clark Griswold.

Tell me all about your Thanksgiving. 

Because I would like to know that I am not alone.


Did you see the MOBIBO Download to Donate widget I have on my blog. If you are live in the Metro Detroit area, please check it out. For every download of the free app, MOBIBO will donate 25 cents to Turning Point, Macomb County’s Shelter for Abused Women and Children’s from now until November 30th. Besides helping a good cause, MOBIBO is an awesome app. As you drive around, it notifies you of deals going on in the stores around you. If you click on the ad, MOBIBO credits your account 25 cents which then will be transferred into your PayPal account. Seriously?! How cool is that. Now go check it out. This post will still be here waiting for you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Top Five Reasons Why I am Happy With The Fact Today is Monday after Thanksgiving

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!  Today I am posting over at Macomb Patch about my five top reasons why I am more than OK with today being a Monday after a holiday.  Here's the link!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve at Whole Living

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Today I posted over at Whole Living about joy and hope and personal boundaries. An unlikely combo, right? Here's the link to the post.

Also, if you are in the metro Detroit area, please check out the new MOBIBO Download to Donate widget I have on my blog.  For every download of the free app, MOBIBO will donate 25 cents to Turning Point, Macomb County’s Shelter for Abused Women and Children’s from now until November 30th.  Besides helping a good cause, MOBIBO is an awesome app.  As you drive around, it notifies you of deals going on in the stores around you.  If you click on the ad, MOBIBO credits your account 25 cents which then will be transferred into your PayPal account.  Seriously?!  How cool is that?!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Counting Your Blessings

Before I get down to my Thanksgiving post, I want to explain the new MOBIBO Download to Donate widget I have on my blog. If you are live in the Metro Detroit area, please check it out. For every download of the free app, MOBIBO will donate 25 cents to Turning Point, Macomb County’s Shelter for Abused Women and Children’s from now until November 30th . Besides helping a good cause, MOBIBO is an awesome app. As you drive around, it notifies you of deals going on in the stores around you. If you click on the ad, MOBIBO credits your account 25 cents which then will be transferred into your PayPal account. Seriously?! How cool is that?! Now go check it out. This post will still be here waiting for you!

Also, if you missed it, here is this week’s post from the Macomb Patch.

Now on with the show!


Thanksgiving is just days away. I consider it the official kickoff to The Holiday Season. I love The Holiday Season, but the politics of this wonderful time of the year Drive. Me. Insane. I feel worn down and overwhelmed and the next thing you know, I am crying because there is no more peppermint mocha creamer in the house.

The unofficial start of the season was kicked off with my Mom, Mother-In-Law, and Marie as we went to see the production of White Christmas (thanks, Dad, for the free tickets)! I left the show feeling two things:

1. I miss tap dancing. How I wish to put on a pair of those shoes and tap out the rhythm of the beat with delicate, tinkling taps!

2. The line from the song Count Your Blessings totally got me thinking:

If you're worried and you can’t sleep,
just count your blessings instead of sheep
and you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

A free show with tap dancing *and* inspiration to focus on my blessings? It was much more than I bargained for.

So here is the list I will be thinking of instead of sheep. I feel grateful:

For the ones who inspire me to be best version of myself because I want to set a good example for The Babes.

For the ones have shown me that I do have more love and patience than I ever thought I did.

For the ones that have shown me that it is more important to practice that love and patience rather than crush a unique spirit.

For the ones that love me just the way I am and never try to change me.

For the ones that have taught me the pureness of unconditional love.

For the ones that have taught me that patience, time, and a good heart can overcome even the most misguided good intentions.

For the ones that have helped me rediscover myself as we connect over topics that usually make me feel alienated.

For the ones that have taught me about understanding and forgiveness.

For the ones that have made it a challenge to trust instincts and be true to myself.

For the ones that have shown me the beauty of a reciprocal friendship.

I am grateful for each of these blessings because I feel that theyhave made me a better person who in turn, is able to be better to those around me.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Do You Think Thursdays with The Skinny Scoop: The Tale of the Coconut Cream Pie and Thanksgiving

I’ve been busy this week. Here’s my links to my Macomb Patch and Whole Living posts. Let me know what you think.

One week until Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. There is awesome food, yet without all the pressure of Christmas. Win!

To be truthful, I have never hosted Thanksgiving. I am seriously considering it since I have been working on my aversion to raw poultry. Even though I have yet to host Thanksgiving, I like to think that I pull my weight in the contributions that I make to the meal.

My specialty (by default) is desserts. I like to focus on the classics: I make an incredible pumpkin pie courtesy of the recipe found on the Libby pumpkin can, and I make the most luscious coconut cream pie you have ever tasted. (My secret is the Jell-O Cook N’ Serve pudding).

What? Coconut cream pie isn’t considered a Thanksgiving classic in your home? Seriously?

Well, it wasn’t until recently that I even liked pumpkin pie. And apple pie? I just don’t think I’ll ever like apple pie. The texture is just gross.

In the spirit of recognizing and accepting my individuality, my mom made me coconut cream pies for Thanksgiving. How awesome is that? I wasn’t to be left out of the festivities because I didn’t like The Official Desserts of Thanksgiving. I wasn’t criticized for not fitting into the apple pie box or pumpkin pie box.

Coconut cream pie symbolizes that I was heard.

And seriously? What is there not to like about coconut cream pie? Its sweetened coconut swirled together with creamy vanilla pudding is heavenly. The toasted coconut on top of a mound of whip cream is simply divine.

Except that Thomas and Marie don’t like it. I think it has something to do with the texture . . . which I totally understand because I repulsed by apple pie.

To continue the legacy of recognizing and accepting individuality, I am honoring Marie’s request to make chocolate chip cookies.

They may not seem like the obvious choice for Thanksgiving, but I’m sure that neither did coconut cream pie. But after thirty some years later, coconut cream pie is synonymous with Thanksgiving.

And now I’m sure that chocolate chip cookies will be, too.

So let me ask you this:

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Raw Chicken Dare – In Photos

It’s time for another installment of The Raw Chicken Dare inspired by Elizabeth at Flourish in Progress.  Here's the back storyAnd here's where I left off. 

I had planned on doing this post last week, but Marie was sick, and I couldn’t go to the store nor did I have the energy to focus on this project. (Believe me, I will be writing a post about this very soon).

I thought today’s update would best be communicated through pictures. I enlisted the help of Marie, and we had a little photo shoot while I prepared dinner. She’s a total natural, by the way.

So here’s how I store the chicken:

Layer 1: butcher paper

Layer 2: plastic bag

Layer 3: plastic shopping bag

Layer 4: glass baking dish
Doesn't everyone store it this way?

Then I pour olive oil and massage it in. That’s right, I show that bird a little love. Then I sprinkle it with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Look at me! I’m holding it so close to my face! I’m almost cured!!

Then I wash my hands with super-hot water and lots of soap.

I put it in the baking dish. Here’s the Before Picture.

I put it in the oven.

And then here’s the After Picture.

I would say that I am pretty close to cooking a whole chicken.

I did have a little snafu with this chicken. Some parts close the bone were a little *gulp* bloody. Not like the juices weren’t clear, because they were. So I’m not sure what that was all about. Any thoughts? There was also a ball of veins that grossed me out and made the chicken a little bloody. I think that my perseverance through this disgusting discovery is a highlight in how far I’ve come from precooked chicken strips, right?

I think if I am going to go this route again, especially on a week night, I would get the breasts separated because it took forever.

I am totally proud of myself!

What have you done that has made you proud? I’d love to hear you toot your own horn!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Do You Think Thursday with Skinny Scoop: Switch Witch 2011

Halloween? Not my favorite holiday. The only saving grace is candy. The sweet and salty perfection of a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup and the lusciousness of gooey coconut paired with the roasted almond covered in smooth milk chocolate of an Almond Joy *almost* makes up for all the other shortcomings of this holiday.

Seriously, I could eat those two candies for the rest of my life. They make my heart race. I feel all glow-y and happy inside. (Real Mommy Chronicles calls this chocolate wasted). If I could live on these two chocolate candies for the rest of my life, I would.

Because I can handle my chocolate.

But Thomas? He cannot handle his chocolate. He has a serious sweet tooth that I fear he will fight from now until eternity.

Here’s how a typical conversation begins:

Thomas: (in super cute, high pitched voice) I have one piece candy?

Me: No, not now. You can have some raisins.

Thomas: (again in super cute voice now accompanied with adorable hand gestures) Just little bit candy. Please?

Me: No, but you can have a banana.

Thomas: (in scary, roaring voice that sharply contrasts the sweet little voice he just used): NO BANA! CANDY! I WANT CANDY!  GGGRRRRR!!!! (now he attempting to break through the childproofed cupboard to get his fix)

All of this before 8:30 a.m.

I decided it was time for the Switch Witch since we had so much success with it last year. The idea was introduced to me by my friend, Laura. You have your kids pick out a few pieces of their favorite candy, and leave the rest behind for the Switch Witch. When the kids are sleeping, the Switch Witch takes all the extra candy and switches it with a movie or a toy or a craft.


This year the Switch Witch brought a set of tempera paint, foam turkey crafts, and glue sticks.

Thank goodness! We are trapped in the house because Marie is sick, and since I took away our pastime of eating candy and I cannot stand to watch My Little Ponies, we are doing crafts.

We had candy?  What candy? This is sooo much better.

So here’s my Skinny Scoop survey of the week:

Hope everyone is having a great week!

If you missed it, I have written some posts for The Macomb Patch and Whole Living. Check them out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Death by Fire or Water Thoughts of a Worried Mom in the New Children’s Wing of Beaumont Hospital

Here are a few program notes before we begin:

Check out my new series at the Macomb Patch called Macomb Patch Mondays with Mommy on the Spot! I am really excited! Today I appeared in the daily newsletter under Local Voices. Yea!

Today is the last day to enter my Flirty Fashions giveaway. Please click on over if you haven’t entered yet!

Also, I had this totally awesome post set up in my Raw Chicken Dare. But then Marie got really sick, and we spent the day at the doctor’s office getting breathing treatments and chest x-rays. So needless to say, I didn’t get around to buying the chicken let alone cooking it. So I have recycled this post about dealing with sick kids. We didn’t have a trip to the emergency room, but I think that sinking feeling of having something not right with one of my babies still applies.


Last Wednesday, I headed out to the new Emergency Room Children’s Wing of Beaumont Hospital. Right before “the incident” happened, I was just telling someone how well everything was going with Thomas. Then it was nap time, and he was a bit fussy, understandably. So I laid him in his crib because sometimes he just cries for five minutes and falls asleep. I was listening to the monitor, and all of a sudden I heard nothing. Then I heard thrashing and gasping. I ran in there and saw that he had vomit, not a little bit of spit up, but a whole tummy full of vomit all over. It was in his nose and mouth and he was pale as a ghost. Once he caught his breath, started to cry and then stopped crying, he was lifeless, despondent, and had a rattle in his chest. My doctor told me to go the ER since he may have aspirated on his vomit. I think my exact words after I hung up the phone were, “Holy fukc! I can’t believe it!” In my mind, I thought we had really turned a corner with the Dr. Brown’s bottles, the change back to Similac Early Advance Shield, and Mylocin gas drops. (And if any reps from these products would like to donate their products for free advertising, I would happily accept).

Thomas’s pulse oxygen levels were good, and he was eating fine. The doctor did not think he suffered a seizure (which freaked me out even more because that was not radar of things to worry about). As Harrington and I waited for his chest x-ray results, I cried. Not because I didn’t think Thomas wouldn’t be OK because my gut was saying he was going to be fine. But I cried because I felt sad that nothing about either one of my babe’s infancy has been easy. It has been death by water or fire.

Marie had been death by water. Because of her big head and low tone, we didn’t know if she was going to have cerebral palsy. We didn’t know if she would need leg braces and a walker. We didn’t know if she would need a shunt in her head for hydrocephaly. There were all these unknowns, and they weighed on me like someone had fit me for a pair of cement shoes and thrown me in a river. It was horrible and sickening and robbed me of almost any happiness that a baby brings. In the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but think I did something to cause this and she was going to suffer for the rest of her life because of me. It was hard to push through and take care of her and her special needs. I literally felt like I was drowning.

When Thomas was born, I knew how important it is to live in the moment since I lost a lot of happy times with Marie worrying about her. When he was born, I was sooo in love with him the moment I saw him. When he nursed successfully right way, I thought we were out of the woods with any feeding issues. At six weeks, he had his first nursing strike. It was so scary because he would not stop screaming for over an hour and refused to eat. Every few weeks things, he would go on these nursing strikes. Then when he would eat, he would bob on and off. He wouldn’t get enough to eat or take in too much air, and then he would cry for 2 hour stints. This went on for all of July and most of August. So we tried a bunch of different things to see if they would work. Sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn’t. But the crying felt like I was dying by fire; this was an immediate problem that needed to be fixed NOW! Not a let’s-see-how-things-progress sort of manner, but a fix-this-now-DAMN IT! kind of manner. Not to mention Marie was starting to get really annoyed with all this crying and attention he was getting.

I cried because it’s not fair that I haven’t had an easy time. I know, I know; life is not fair. I was just hoping for a break. I think I need to adjust the way I look at things. Life, especially one with babies, is all about moments. There were a lot of moments in waiting to see if my baby girl was going to be physically handicapped and there were a lot of moments in a two hour block of crying. But they are all moments, and they all passed.

And somewhere amongst all those heart-stopping, gut-wrenching moments, there were some beautiful, peaceful, happy-so-much-my-heart-breaks-open moments in there, too.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Do You Think Thursday with Skinny Scoop: Taking Little Steps

*Program Note: Don’t forget to enter my Flirty Fashions Giveaway for a $50 gift card!!*

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about change. I believe it has been driven by the physical changes my body has been going through at physical therapy, and I see those as a metaphor for the other areas in my life. I am still letting these ideas simmer for a bit more before I devote a whole blog post to the subject. But I can say this: if my current self met my former self ten years ago, I’m not sure there would be a lot of common ground.

One change that I am ready to talk about is my efforts to be more conscious about buying organic. Ten years ago, I would have never even considered buying organic body wash or organic milk. And now, after much research, I just do it.

Not that I am the poster child for organic living, because I am not. I don’t think Kraft Macaroni and Cheese could ever be organic with that lovely shade of orange powder cheese mix. I also don’t think our daily consumption of “cinn-a-toast” (Thomas’s way of saying cinnamon toast) would ever be considered organic.

Hence the title of this blog “Taking Little Steps.” I think any change worth making is rarely easy or quick. For me, lasting change is done by taking little steps.

It started with buying organic black beans because they had less sodium than regular black beans. Then I became interested in using essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances. I then started reading Whole Living magazine which led to the failed cleanse (but I did learn a lot about nutrition, so not a total failure). I then had a few sessions with Monica at Your Inutitve Health. This summer, I embarked a quest to find the perfect chemical free sunblock with the help of the Cosmetics Database (which should come with a warning because the information is so scary). This quest took a turn into finding an organic body wash for The Babes. Which then turned into me participating in an organic farm co-op. Which then turned into me finding an organic body and face moisturizers. Which then led me to buying organic milk, eggs, and chicken.

All these little steps have created a life so different than the one I had ten years ago. But it happened so gradually that it hardly seems like any change was made at all, and therefore, easier to maintain. 

No matter how many changes I make, I can't quit pizza or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or Peppermint Mocha Creamer.  Nothing like living life on the edge, right?

My next step? Finding a makeup that is safe and reasonably priced.  I hope this is easier than the quest for chemical free sunblock because that almost drove me insane!

What do you think? 

Do you buy anything organic? Also, if you have any suggestions for the makeup, I would love to hear it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Things Fabulous – A Flirty Fashions Review/Giveaway and my 200th Post

Ladies and Gentlemen (and by gentlemen, I mean my three regular male readers which include but hopefully are not limited by my husband, father, and brother), welcome to me 200th post!

Two hundred times I thought about something to say, actually sat down to write it, and clicked the publish button (which still makes me feel all fluttery inside).

I love writing and blogging. I feel all lit up and alive inside whenever I do anything remotely blogging related: talking about it, doing it, thinking about it. I feel incredibly lucky that I found something that makes me happy and more in tune with myself.

And what better way to celebrate than to host a Flirty Fashions giveaway for my readers as a thank-you for being such an awesome and integral part of the blogging experience.

Last week, I attended the Flirty Fashions Grand Opening at Partridge Creek Mall. I dressed up in my best Little Black Dress and had a blast. This is a local fashion boutique that originated in Rochester that is opening a second location just down the street from me. How lucky am I?!

Flirty Fashions Partridge Creek Location

The store is gorgeous and for the Grand Opening Party, there were beautiful, live models showing off the store’s incredible merchandise.

In addition to all the amazing clothes, there was a sugar scrub station set up like an ice cream parlor. We got to pick out a scent and add sugar and sprinkles that looked just like an ice cream treat.

I had a great girls’ night out with Shannon, Christina and Melissa (but due to some technical difficulties, Christina and Melissa are not pictured here).

Are we totally hot or what?!

The party was fun, but I have to say that I cannot wait to go back to the store and do some shopping. There were so many pieces that I loved. Here are a few of my favorite looks:

I love the design and color of this dress.
 It has this 1960’s retro feeling, yet without being to costume-y.

I fell in love with this beautiful purple, silk dress.
The necklace totally gives the dress a glamorous touch.
 I think I need to create an event to which I could wear this dress.
Maybe I’ll wear this when I hit the publish button on my 300th post.

I love the delicate pearl details on this cardigan.
I see me wearing this at Thanksgiving. And Christmas.
And Friday at the bus stop.
Yes, I would probably live in this because it is so soft.

They also have amazing jewelry!

Colorful . . .

 . . . and sparkly!

Flirty Fashions is a beautiful store with a unique and diverse selection. In addition to the pieces I pictured here, there is a huge selection of evening and formal wear. The merchandise is reasonably priced, and I love that this store is Michigan-based since supporting the local economy is important to me.

I am happy to say that Flirty Fashions is giving me a $50 gift card that can be used at either the Partridge Creek location or their newly relocated store in Rochester.

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog! It really means so much to me!

So here’s what you must do to snag this incredible prize:

Please leave a comment on this post about your favorite fancy clothing item you like to wear.

Here’s what you must do for extra entries. Please leave a comment on this post for each thing you did. Each comment is an extra entry:

- Like Flirty Fashions and My Flirty Fashions on Facebook (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).

- Like Mommy on the Spot on Facebook (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).

- Follow Mommy on the Spot on Twitter (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).

- Follow Flirty Fashions on Twitter (or leave a comment if you already are a fan).

- Become a fan of this blog by either subscribing to my RSS feed or Google Friend Connect.

- Share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social network site.

You must live locally or willing to drive to the area. The contest will start Tuesday, November 1st and ends on Tuesday, November 8th midnight EST. The winner will be picked at random.

Good luck, everyone! And have a great week!

*I was given a $50 gift card to attend the Flirty Fashions Grand Opening Event and to blog about it. These opinions are completely mine. Oh, yes, all mine.