Nadia Suleman’s Christmas Card


How do you get 10 children to sit still long enough to take a portrait?  This is Nadia Suleman’s, aka Octomom, Christmas card.  Yep, she’s back in the news.  She’s in need of money, who wouldn’t be with fourteen children.  Apparently, the mother of fourteen has been ordered to pay a $450,000 balloon payment on her home by December 31 or be homeless.  Apparently her father worked out a deal for Nadia to live in the home although it is owned by someone else.  Nadia would be responsible for making the payments.  If the home owner falls behind on the payments, a balloon payment becomes due.  According to the home owner, Nadia should be evicted from the home and he’s prepared to take legal action.  

It appears that people have lost interest in her, and offers for books, movies and reality TV shows aren’t coming in as she had hoped.  The financial well has run dry.  She decided to have a yard sale to try to raise funds.  People take desperate measures in desperate times.  Hell, I’ve never been able to raise more than a few hundred dollars when I’ve had a yard sale, how does one raise $10,000.  Unfortunately, Nadia was only able to raise $2,600.  She should have called Niecy Nash on Clean House.  She knows how to get it done.  The $2,600 was not enough, but not bad for a bikini that she wore on the cover of a magazine, her nursing bra, sofa, and a photo opportunity with her children.          

PETA made Nadia an offer to assist with the balloon payment.  They wanted to place a sign in her yard that read,   “Don’t let your dog or cat become an ‘Octomom:’ Always spay or neuter,”  How humiliating is that?  She accepted the $5,000 offer so she could keep a roof over her children’s head.   

I wonder what kind of life these poor children will have.  It’s impossible for her to give these children the attention they need and deserve.  Unless you’re filthy rich, it’s also impossible to feed, cloth, pay medical expense, save for college or everything else with fourteen children.  They are so adorable, and they deserve much better.  Without public assistance, what do these children have to look forward to?  

The state will end up taking care of these children eventually.  She was receiving food stamps and disability payments before you had the last 8.  As a single parent, I usually rally behind another single mother, but I find it difficult to have any compassion for someone who had 6 children that she couldn’t take care of and she selfishly brings 8 more into the world.  Can you imagine the chaos in that house with fourteen children running, screaming, crying, fighting and who knows what else.  I pray that there is no tragedy within the walls of that home. 

Rather than place this burden on the state, I think her fertility doctor should be made to take some responsibility.  We know that won’t happen, the best we can hope for is that he will loose his license.   

I wish the best for the children, and no ill-will toward their mother.  Since the children have a baby’s daddy, she’s all the support they have.  Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts on Nadia Suleman and her fourteen children.          

No More Junk Food For You

It looks like our schools will be required to serve healthier meals to our children.  Lets hear it for the Obama administration, someone stepped up to the plate and said we need to take better care of our children.  Many would disagree with his decision.  We all have an opinion and this post is about mine. I signed on to Michelle Obama’s Lets Move program months ago.  Our children need healthier meals, we truly have a severe obesity problem with our children in this country and we need to teach them to eat healthy now so it becomes a habit. 
I was an advent fan of Maury Povich years ago, that’s before he started focusing on baby’s daddy.  I’ll save my opinion on baby’s daddy for another day.  Anyway, Maury was featuring obese children on his show.  OMG, the images will be ingrained into my memory forever.  The show featured toddlers that weighed 100+ pounds.  Mothers were literally feeding their children to death.  The children would scream and fight until they received their favorite foods and drinks, which consisted of Twinkies, soda, chicken legs, mac & cheese, chips, and the list goes on and on.  It was heart breaking.  These children were huge.  There was no way these children could be lifted to be hugged and kissed.  There was no way these children could run and play.  It still brings tears to my eyes years later just thinking about it. Statistics show that approximately 32 percent of our children are overweight or obese and the numbers are climbing.  Our armed forces are turning away recruits because they are too fat to serve in the military. Can you believe this, the recruits couldn’t climb a flight of steps if their life depended on it.  They surely can’t enter into combat to defend our country.

We must save our youth before it’s too late. They are our future, but if we continue on the path that we’re on they won’t be around to lead.  Health care costs are at an all time high, and much of the debt relates to obesity.  High blood pressure, diabetes, and respiratory issues are serious problems with our youth too.  Here’s a few questions for you:  Do you see children playing in your neighborhood? What happened to riding bikes and taking your children to the park to play on the swings and slide?  What happened to taking your kids roller skating?  We’ve allowed our children to become couch potatoes.  A video game is in one hand and a bag of chips or ice cream is in the other.       

How can we go wrong with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S. 3307).  This bill addresses the need for healthier meals for our children.  Let the fight against obesity begin. Many children would go hungry without the Free Lunch program offered in our schools. Many parents who are trying to feed their families are unable to purchase organic or other healthy choices because it’s just too expensive to purchase these types of foods.  They send their children to school, and what’s there?  Vending  machines filled with chips, chocolate, and soda.  When do they get a healthy meal?  Where do they learn to make healthy choices, it’s not an option in the home.  We are sending our children to school to get an education, shouldn’t healthy eating be a part of their education?  

I debated this bill with a mom blogger this morning.  She believed the bill was another communistic act of the Obama Administration to control the country.  She believed she should be able to give her child money to purchase a treat, ice cream, if she choose to do so. She also had a problem with the fundraising being limited.  The children would no longer be able to sell candy bars to raise funds.  People were able to spend a $1.00 on a candy bar versus $30.00 for wrapping paper.  This statement proved my point, junk food is more affordable, which is why children are being feed junk instead of making healthier choices. Why can’t they sell fruit?  I purchase a case of mixed fruit every year around the holidays from the neighborhood children and make gift baskets for my family.  What about candles or a magazine subscription?  There are so many options other than candy that can be sold to raise money. I believe out of sight out of mind.  If we’re banning junk from the schools, why sell it for fundraisers?
      
I participated in the White House Feed A Neighbor Program several weeks ago.  The shelves were bare, and food banks were asking the community for help stocking shelves so families could have a decent meal for Thanksgiving.  It was a rewarding experience for me, but I have to say that fresh fruit and vegetables were not an option among the food brought in.  Food banks are unable to store perishable items.  They must have a self life.           
       
Most importantly, I wish someone had taught me how to eat when I was a kid.  I was not an obese kid, my weight problems started after my divorce.  I’m a stress eater, which is why I am so hell bent on teaching healthy lifestyles early.  I have gotten better with walking and moving as much as possible, and I’ve already signed up for a weight lose program starting 1/4/2011.  Stay tuned for my progress in the new year.  Although my eating habits were not great, my daughter did learn to eat healthy as a result of 12 years of formal dance training.  She has made it a part of her life and she’s passing that mind set on to her son.  To me that’s proof that healthy habits are taught.  

We would love to know your thoughts on this bill.  Do you believe the government should be regulating school menus and the removal of junk food?  Should the government be the initiator of the fight on childhood obesity?  How are you doing with  preparing healthy meals in your home? Leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you.         

Mother Breast Feeding 6 Year Old


When should a mother stop nursing her child?  Is 6 years old beyond the appropriate age limit?
Amanda Hurst in the UK doesn’t see a problem with her 6 year old breast feeding.  As a matter of fact, she’s breast feeding both her 6 year old and her 5 five month old. Amanda said, she nurses both of the children in the morning because it’s cold and she doesn’t want to get up.  I find that to be a rather odd reason for nursing a six year old.  Most people would find that statement to be an indication of laziness.  Does it warm up as the day goes on inside her home or does she have to get up eventually and turn up the heat?  If she has to eventually get up to turn up the heat, why doesn’t she do it and feed the child a bowl of cereal, oatmeal or pancakes?  Better yet, why doesn’t she have her husband turn up the heat before he leaves for work.  The house would be warm by the time she gets up with the children. 
We all know that breastfeeding has been proved to be better for babies, but this post is about a 6 year old.  In addition to still nursing her 6 year old because it’s cold, Amanda said she just couldn’t turn her son away when she tried to wean him at 3 years old.  When her second son, William, was born and she decided to nurse him too, Jonathan wanted to continue as well. It’s rare that she nurses both of them at once because of the difficulty, but yes on occasion she does.

Now Jonathan has a 7 year old girlfriend.  He goes to school, tap dances, swims and attends Beaver Scouts.  He’s your typical 6 year old.  If so, than why in the hell isn’t he drinking milk at the table in the morning?  I never breast feed my daughter.  I developed a relationship with Similac, and my daughter turned out just fine.  I don’t buy breast feed children are more intelligent.  She’s highly educated.  She graduated with honors from both high school and college.  As a matter of fact, I will be hosting a party for her next month to celebrate her new Masters Degree.  She will be moving on to her Ph.D after the new year.  She was quite healthy as well.  Typical colds, ear infections that most kids experience growing up.  Now my grandson was breast feed, and he has had more colds than I care to count.  I don’t knock breastfeeding, I believe it’s a mother’s choice and neither is better or the worst for their decision.

Amanda says, “I do question the decisions I make and wonder whether I’m right or wrong. But it’s parenting, there is no manual, I don’t think there is a “right way”.  I beg to differ on this decision.  From one mother to another, parenting is difficult.  There is no manual, but at times common sense comes into play.  Amanda admits she’s lazy, “I think I’m quite lazy,’ she says. ‘I’d have gone crazy having to sterilise all those bottles. Breast milk is always the right temperature, right consistency and it’s always there, on tap”.

Laziness is not an option in my house.  At 5 months, an infant is still dependent on their mother for nourishment, but a 6 year old is old enough to get nutrients and vitamins from appropriate table foods.  Get with it mom, remove your 6 year old from your breast.  “Lellow”, Jonathan’s made up word for breast milk, is no longer cute. 
  
Do you think it’s appropriate to nurse a 6 year old?  Please leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you. 

Bullying Obese Children


Kathy Griffin is fighting back.  She has dubbed Bristol Palin aka “Pillsbury Dough Girl ” or try the “White Precious” and she’s standing by her comments.  Although she is being seen as a bully per Elizabeth Hasselbeck from The View, Kathy Griffin refuses to apologize for her fat jokes. Is  Kathy Griffin a bully for calling Bristol fat?  That depends on who you ask.  Some are defining bullying as an attack on a defenseless person who has done nothing wrong, and Bristol Palin is fair game.  After all, she is the only contestant who gained weight on Dancing With The Stars.  To add fuel to the fire, she shouldn’t have even been in the final competition.  If the show is truly based on one’s dancing ability, Bristol Palin is a joke according to Kathy Griffin.  
Other people went into a rage over the fact that Bristol beat out Brandy on DWTS.  So enraged one man shot out his TV and had a standoff with a SWAT  Team.  Now that is what we call Pissed Off.   
Now I don’t believe Bristol was a better dancer than Brandy; however, I am against bullying.  My daughter was bullied and I’ve written several blog posts on the subject.   It can devastating to the person who is on the receiving end and could possibly end in tragedy.  Do I see Bristol Palin as a child?  Not really, but she is a child to me.  Is she fair game for comedians?  Aren’t we all. Is she being bullied?  I personally don’t think so.  Although she is a child to me, she is in fact a grown woman who had to know that she would be the topic of discussion at breakfast, lunch and dinner if she participated on the show.  Hell her mother is the brunt of jokes for many comedians, so as far as I’m concerned she stepped into the line of fire.  Should her mother have warned her it could happen?  Was this a selfish opportunity that Sarah Palin used for her own political aspirations?  Is this a reflection of Sarah Palin’s parenting skills or lack thereof?     

        
Take a good look at this picture of Bristol Palin.  Would the medical field consider her fat?  Probably so. Should she be the brunt of a fat joke, no. People have criticized Michelle Obama for promoting healthier life styles for America’s children.  I’ve even seen a post where someone blamed President Obama for removing ice cream from the schools.  Is that really a bad thing?  What’s wrong with replacing ice cream with a piece of fruit?  That’s what a doctor would want us to do.  Kathy Griffin’s remarks about Bristol is a perfect example of why obesity needs to be promoted, discussed and dealt with in this country.  Fat jokes, humiliating comments toward our children, and the struggle in adulthood to loose excessive weight is real.  The truth be told, we do have some of the most obese people in the world right here in the good ole USA.  We come from the land of good and plenty, and we believe in indulgence. 

I think too much emphasis is placed on body images in this country.  It’s ingrained into our heads that thin is in.  When those of us who have weight problems can’t obtain that goal, we are the butt of cruel comments and remarks.  I struggle with my weight, and I have for many years. It can be painful at times.  I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve looked into the mirror nude and told myself that I was disgusting.  On the other hand, my self esteem is high enough when I can look in the mirror on other days and say diva, oh yes I am.  Not everyone has the strength to do that, and I am grateful for a healthy dose of self-esteem.  I’m not aiming to be thin, but I am aiming to be healthy.

As for Bristol Palin, she should really think twice about whether or not she wants to be in the lime light.  It’s kinda of like Sarah Palin on the hunt for a kill, if you put yourself out there, you’re fair game. I would love to hear your thoughts on Kathy Griffin’s fat jokes and the obesity problems that we face in this country with our children.  Please leave us a comment, we love them.

Child Care Provider Tells 5 Year Old To Hit The Road

My heart dropped when I read this story.  A 5 year old boy is told to leave when his name was not on a list at the Thurgood Marshall Elementary after-school program in Marrow, GA.  This little boy did as he was told, he walked a mile to his home alone.  Can you believe it?  Here’s the story:  Apparently there had been a mix up.  His mother enrolled him in the program; however, his name was not on the list when he showed up on his first day.  Rather than the child care provider bring him inside and investigate why his name was not on the list, they tell him to leave.  He doesn’t know what else to do, so he heads home.  Fortunately he made it home safely and used a spare key to let himself in.  
The school is currently investigating the incident, and they have offered his mother a free week for the trouble.  How funny is that?  A free week at a reckless child care facility would really ease my fear and discomfort.  

I don’t know what’s happening to our school systems, but they’re justing going to hell along with so many other things in this country.  I’m starting to get very upset about by what seems to be a lack of interest in our children.  I know the country is feeling stress from a poor economy and a lack of jobs, but people just don’t seem to care much about anything or anyone. An adult in that school was getting paid to oversee children.  That’s a scary thought to me.  I have to ask what other poor decisions will they make.  Sending a 5 year old away from a school alone is an indication to me that they are not responsible.  So many horrible things could have happened to that poor child.  The teacher or guardian must not listen to the new when they’re at home.  Every day there’s a child murdered or missing on the news.  As a mother that thas a profound affect on me. It should have an affect on the hands that we place our children in daily too.

I’m assuming this school has to be certified in child care if they are advertising as an after school childcare provider.  I wonder how they achieved this status?  I wonder how many parents pulled their children out when they heard what happened to this 5 year old.  Personally, I would have left skid marks driving my child away.  It’s a sad state when you can’t trust a school with your child.  

The mother stated that she would be pulling her child out of the program.  Who can blame her.  I pray that this school will work to provide a better and safer program for the parents and their childen.  What kind of child care do you have for your child after school?  How would you have handled the situation if your child was told to leave a facility and walked a mile home alone?  We would love to hear your take on this one.             

Christmas At The Beach

I love making memories with my grandson.  This past week we visited the Winter Wonderland and the Lights on the Beach in Virginia Beach, VA.  I had hoped to walk along the boardwalk with Xavier, but the setup only allowed you to drive along the boardwalk.  It worked out perfectly, since the evening was quite chilly.  

The light show was fantastic.  The displays arranged from the drummer shown above to fish jumping from the sea.  Ronald McDonald was on hand, Snoopy, a beautiful carousel and a nativity scene.  Dinosaurs, boats, and horses could be found along the beach.  Xavier was quite excited by the lights, and so was I. What a way to start the holiday season. I loved the fact that you could drive the boardwalk at your leisure.  Nobody was honking horns hurrying people along, everyone was enjoying the scenery and just taking their time.  You could place an order for coffee or hot chocolate before you started your journey, which was brought to your car.  You were also given a CD of holiday music to play while you drove the 30 blocks.  It was a great set-up, and I intend to make the Lights on the Beach an annual outting for Xavier and Mama.       

 
My neighbor had seen the show last year with her daughter, and she assured me that I would not be disappointed.  She was right.  Each year the merchants add new displays. I can’t wait to see the show next year.  There was truly alot of time and effort put into the show.      

If you’re in the Virginia Beach area during the holiday it is worth the trip.  Your children will never forget the lights and they will love you for it making a great memory for them.  I can’t wait to make a scrapbook of my week-end with Xavier.  No show is ever the same, so this adventure will certainly go to the top of my list of things to do during the holidays, and I recommend that you add it to your list too.  Leave us a comment and let us know how you’re getting into the Christmas spirit with your children this holiday season.  We would love to know what’s happening in your area.     

A Passion for Scrapbooking

Besides blogging, wine tasting and reading true crime books, I have a passion for scrapbooking.  I have a fortune invested in pictures, so I decided to combine my love for crafts with my pictures and do scrapbooks.  It can become an expensive habit, but I love it.  I decided to purchase the Cricut Expression several months ago, and I absolutely love it.  The cartridges can be expensive, but I’ve been able to purchase mine from ebay at a reasonable amount. 

The layouts are from an airshow that I attended in September with my grandson.  He had a great time watching the USA Air Force Thunderbirds do their thing.  He loves looking at the pictures when he visits, so the scrapbooks are a perfect way to perserve memories of our time together.  

I love using the Cricut for my lettering and die cuts for my scrapbook.  It was a big investment, but well worth the money. I’m currently working on a scrapbook from our visit to the pumpkin patch this fall and a fall wine festival. The two cartridges that I purchased for my fall scrapbooks have great die cuts, so I’m excited about using them.  There are several other cartridges that I’ve placed on my Christmas list.  I’ve been a good girl, so I’m hoping Santa will place a few in my stocking this year.

If you’re a scraper, I would love to hear from you so that we can exchange ideas for layouts and techniques. If you have a Scrapbook Blog, please leave your link. 

Making Memories

Have you visited the Hunt Club in Virginia Beach, VA?  It’s a wonder place to visit if you’re looking for opportunities to make great memories with your children.  They offer so many activities throughout the year from Easter Bunny and egg hunts to pumpkin patches, carnival rides and photo opportunities with Santa Claus.  I’ve taken my grandson there for the past several years to visit the pumpkin patch and the Winter Wonderland.  This is a picture of Xavier’s first pony ride.  His mother was truly bringing up the rear on his journey, lol.  That pony couldn’t take a step without her taking one too.  Neverless, we had a wonder time.  Xavier enjoyed the ride although he said it was “bumpy”. 
I enjoy creating memories with my grandson.  I’m always looking for an opportunity to expose him to all that the world has to offer.  The Hunt Club provides an opportunity to enjoy a family day in a beautiful and safe setting.  I will be taking him to the Winter Wonderland next week-end to visit Santa.  Last year, he wasn’t interested in sitting on Santa’s lap.  He wasn’t having anything to do with him.  In case he decides he doesn’t want anything to do with him this year either, we can still visit the beautiful display of animated characters, a petting zoo with lights and a bonfire for roasting marshmallows.  I don’t know who has the most fun on our journeys, Xavier or me.  If you’re in the area, it is truly worth a visit.  Beware, your children will want to visit again and again.     

Children’s Birthday Party Ideas

Are you planning a birthday party for your child?  Are you tired of the same old Barney and Princess themes?  I am!  My grandson’s third birthday is coming up next month and I really want to do something special.  He loves dinosaurs, so I think I’m going to go with a Dinosaur theme.  He spends hours playing with his dinosaurs and at bedtime, the Dinosaurs books are grabbed immediately.  I can’t think of anything that would excite him more, and believe me I’ve been thinking about it all day. 

I’ve decided to create a small version of Dinosaur Land in my backyard.  I’ve found some great dinosaur party favors and inflatables.  I’m going to place 3 – 4 foot dinosaurs throughout the yard with huge dinosaur eggs and foot prints.         

  
I’ve found a Dinosaur Moon Bounce and slide for entertainment.  The Moon Bounce should give parents a break so they can grab a dinosaur shaped chicken salad sandwich and a drink.  I have dinosaur shaped cookie cutters, I thought I would get some use out of  them with the sandwiches.  The party is at the end of September, so I’m going to use orange and green for the tables and balloons.  I’m unsure if I’m going to do a cake or cupcakes at this point.  I’m leaning  toward cupcakes, they go over well with the kids and they’re easier to handle.  I think I’m going to do 1 game, Fossil Find.  I’m going to bury miniature dinosaurs or pencils in dirt and let the kids dig.  Each will get a prize.

I made a list of unique party themes, just in case he decides dinosaurs are not what he wants.  I thought I would share the list that I put together while deciding on a theme.  Hopefully, you will be able to use one of them for your child’s upcoming party:

  • Tea Party
  • Candy Land
  • Toy Story
  • Runway Models
  • Dragon Tales
  • Paris and Poodles
  • Soldiers
  • Karate Kids
  • Cheerleaders
  • Beach Bums/Surfers
  • Sports – Soccer, Football, Baseball or a favorite basket team  
  • Handy Manny
  • Alice In Wonderland 
  • Sock Hop
  • Pirates
  • Lady Bugs and Butterflies
  • Paint Ball
  • Ballerinas
  • Dr. Suess
  • Hello Kitty
  • Strawberry Shortcake

If you’ve had a dinosaur themed party, I would love to hear from.  If not, please feel free to leave us a comment on any themed parties that you’ve had or considering.  We would love to add to our list.   

I Got Played

Where you surprised when Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston announced their re-engagement?  I was.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why she would want to be with a man who betrayed her in so many ways.  Love makes us behave in strange ways. It makes us tolerate so much than what we would normally put up with.  I guess she was no exception.

I don’t think much of Sara Palin.  I still laugh at her running around the country promoting abstinence-only to teens, and she was unable to persuade her own daughter to abstain.  I don’t believe any parent wants their teenagers involved in any sexual activities, but lets get real it’s more likely than not they will engage.  So, why not have the talk and ensure they are protected if it should happen.   


I do commend her as parent for standing by her daughter, and ensuring that her daughter didn’t become a target by the media while she was on the campaign trail.  I also commend her for seeing Levi Johnston for the creep that he really is.  I can only imagine her grief as a parent when they announced their second engagement.  Unfortunately, as a parent you have to step aside at some point and let your children make their own decisions including mistakes.  You just hope that they don’t make too many mistakes or mistakes that they can’t recover from in the process.      
 
I remember my daughter dating a young man through high school that I did not like.  You don’t know how many times I prayed that she did not end up pregnant.  My prayers were answered, she finally realized that he was not good for her when she went away to college and moved on.  It was literally a mother’s nightmare.  
 
It’s hard to sit back and watch your child be hurt by someone that they love, and there’s nothing that you can do.  Hell it’s hard for adults to be hurt in their relationships by someone they love.  When it comes to your child, it creates an even deeper wound.  Being a mother is such a unique experience.  You want to protect your children forever.  I can truly say that giving birth and raising my daughter has been my most rewarding experience.  There isn’t much that I would change if I had to rewind the past 30 years with her.  I can’t say that I did everything right along my journey, but I tried.  
 
I felt so sorry when Bristol Palin said, “She Got Played”.   It’s tough when you want to believe in someone, but they don’t believe in themselves so you can’t.  Rumor has it Levi confessed to possibly having another baby’s momma.  Baby’s momma is saying he ain’t the baby’s daddy.  It seems Levi confessed to the possibility after they made the announcement that they were re-engaged.  He just couldn’t be honest upfront so she could make an intelligent decision before announcing to the world they were a couple again.  At that point, she saw him for the man that he really is and the man Sara Palin told her that he was, and called off the engagement.  I say, good for her.  She certainly can raise Tripp as a single mother.  I did, and I was around her age when I become a mother.   I’ll save that experience for another post.  Stay tuned. 
 
The sooner she lets go, the sooner she can move on.  I’m sure her parents will continue to stand by her and support her and the baby in every manner possible.  She will look back one day, and ask herself what she saw in that idiot and realize that she made the right decision by moving on.    
 
I would like to wish Bristol and Tripp all the best!