Sunday, June 30, 2013

Splatter and Friends Children's Book Giveaway Encouraging Summer Reading!

Splatter and Friends Children's Book Giveaway!

Splatter and Friends
Encourage summer reading by ENTERING Splatter and Friends children's picture book giveaway!

This month I'm offering three FREE ebook copies of Red Light! Green Light! Splat!, the first children's picture book in the Splatter and Friends series. Splatter and Friends are the Guardians of the Prism. Without them the world will be dark, dreary and colorless. And ugly villain Tar will take over the universe bringing doom and gloom.
Next time there is a rainbow, look close because you may just get a glimpse of seven colorful, friendly creatures and their dog sneaking a peak at you! And if you are lucky-SPLAT!-you may even get to meet one.
Swish! Swoosh! Splat-a-tat-tat! Splatter and Friends set off on another adventure splatting from a rare upside down rainbow inches from where Lionar, the King of Chimney Rock, was sitting. Lionar not only made new friends, but he also discovered that everyone and everything has color.
Red Light! Green Light! Splat! also includes three games your children can play at home.
Splatter and Friends is an educational children's book series that promotes creative learning, self-awareness, and the secret recipe for silliness. The color of Splatter and each of his friends symbolizes personality and behavioral traits. As you read each story, encourage your child to express their full splaterrific color! 

Red Light Green Light Splat's target age is preschool to kindergarten; however, Splatter and Friends characters is for everyone of all ages.

Three people will win a FREE eBook copy of Red Light Green Light Splat!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Parent Coaches Strike Their Kids Out On Purpose Losing More Than The Game

Last night, at my daughters All Star softball tournament, the parent coaches should have been thrown out of the game for doing what they did to their team of 8U girls.

The game started off great, where both teams were playing their hearts out to be one of the final two to make it to the All Star Championship. You could see it in every players eyes and action that they were giving more than 110%. What should have been a proud moment for both teams turned out to be a heartwrenching ending.

It was the bottom of the fourth with only four minutes left in the game and the opposing team was up at bat. The opposing teams coaches knew if they could finish the inning in four minutes, they would be able to play another inning, which is the inning that allows for unlimited runs.

Our team was in softball ready position, eager to stop every hit that came their way and make the out. We watched the opposing coach walk out onto the field. This was the inning where coaches only pitched, giving the players a better opportunity to hit the ball if their coach was a good pitcher.

I took a deep breath, having some relief that it was the bottom of their batting order. But these were All Star girls, which meant that all could hit, keeping every one of our fielders on their toes. I watched the opposing coach pitch his first pitch. It was super high. So high that his batter had to leap off the ground to try to even tip it. None of us thought anything of it, because every coach has pitched a bad pitch. But then the second pitch was high and the third. At first, I thought, "There is no way a parent would ever try to strike their own batter out, especially an All Star player in an All Star game; and for that matter, to an eight year old child!" It was when he pitched an unreachable high pitch to his second batter that my body became numb, realizing he was purposely striking his players out. The fans started to boo. Everyone knew what he was doing was unethical and unforgivable.

I can't even explain the sadness I felt for the opposing teams girls who were struck out. You could see it in their eyes that they were doing everything possible to try to hit every pitch their self-centered, cruel coach pitched to them. They had no idea that their coach was purposely striking them out.

Winning is such a wonderful feeling. But losing, knowing that you gave it your all is just as great of a feeling. This coach took that away from those girls. He was trying to win for his own personal selfish needs. These girls were out there to learn the game, develop skills and to be taught what sportsmanship is. Winning at all costs will never make you a winner.

In hindsight, I think the umpire should have stopped the game and asked the opposing coach to be replaced. Those girls deserved better. We as parents and volunteer coaches have an obligation to not only teach our children appreciation, responsibility, respect and ethics, but also to be the best role models in the process. This father, this coach, failed his child and team, and now he has to live with his actions.

We won the game. And we won it fairly. I hope that the above story helps you stop and think about how your actions and words affect your child. Kids need parents to teach them that it's okay to win and lose. But cheating and doing things unethically will never make you a winner.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

ASTROLOGY NEWS: Firework Explosion In July When Saturn Goes Direct, Uranus Goes Retrograde and Mercury Goes Direct

July is the month filled with "Ah ha" and "Uh oh" moments! Saturn going direct (July 7th), Uranus going retrograde (July 17th), and Mercury finally turning direct (July 18th) will create an energy flow to teach us that nothing in life is perfect, that your past and present choices will affect your future, and that anything and everything is possible. But the most important thing is to realize that not everything can be planned for and to be open to the unexpected.

This is a month where freedom, structure and personal responsibility will be highlighted. And even if these transits are not aspecting one of your planets directly in your astrology chart, they will touch each and every one of our lives through friends, business decisions and governmental choices.

With Mercury already in retrograde going into July, Saturn will add to the communicative craziness by bringing those secrets out in the open as well as your successes. And when you add Uranus going retrograde to the equation, you will get a mixture of astonishing successes and unexpected misfortunes.

On a personal level, these planetary combinations will take what you have been working on the past six months and shake it up enough that you have to say and do something about it. You will get rid of things that aren't working and move forward with things that are. You will say things that need to be said, and some words will definitely strike the heart. This could be a time period of significant status change for you such as marriage, divorce, and career change.

On a global level, war, innovative discoveries, and unexpected weather conditions will make the news. With Saturn and Uranus, we need to watch out for power struggles and ego. Does it really matter who wins in the end, if no one is left to enjoy it?

What to expect:
  • A huge discovery, major progress and/or possibly even a cure around something involving cancer, the nervous system and/or the mind, like Alzheimer's.
  • Guns and war hot topics and possible events. Watch out for anyone unstable with access to destructive devices.
  • Important relationships and partnership encounters. I actually met my husband with a Uranus change in direction which affected my astrology chart. And bad relationships and partnerships ending.
  • Electrical storms, power outages and even an unexpected earthquake.
  • Watch out for fires, accidental in nature to. They could get out of control.
  • Delays and even tragic accidents around travel.
  • Secrets being revealed.
  • Speaking your mind and sharing your feelings.
  • Job promotions, projects getting off the ground and status change (like marriage or divorce).
  • Pregnancy. I got pregnant when Saturn changed direction, creating an entirely new identity for myself--mom!

What to be cautious of, especially because Mercury is still in retrograde:
  • Saying something you later regret.
  • Not realizing your true potential.
  • Being careless and reckless on the road.
  • Not locking your belongings up, causing theft.
  • Leaving important documentation around where it ends up being revealed.
  • Anything involving electricity and power.
  • Regarding health, always watch out for high blood pressure, anxiety and stress when Mercury and Uranus are involved. Not too mention, anything dealing with the mind or head such as concussions.
In a nutshell, power, freedom, and perseverance will flow steady and strong in the the independent month of July. Be ready to stay on your toes because anything and everything can happen with three major planets fighting for the spotlight. Like I said, these planets are going to stir the energy for explosive communicative events, where some will definitely make the news.

With Saturn in Scorpio, look within because that is where you will find the answers and the strength to persevere. Honesty is key during this time period, especially being honest to yourself. And take your time. Taking risks can be fun and rewarding. And the timing for taking risks couldn't be better. However, remember that with Saturn being the planet that teaches lessons and Uranus creating the unexpected, those risks may not play out in the exact way you had planned. If you have already learned your lesson, then you should be smiling in the end!

I hope you'll check out my website and follow my blog! I really want to leverage all of this exciting astrological energy and would love your help in helping me succeed. This fall is the time that I'll be expanding my product offerings and sharing more information on who the Wunderkind Family is!

Please visit and follow....

Get 20% off all orders with coupon code 20OFF! This offer is valid from 6/25 through 7/8.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Meet Jaws The Most Time Devouring Plant

How hard can it be taking care of a plant, right? That's what I thought until Jaws entered my life.

Jaws, the most human demanding Venus Fly Trap that I've ever met, is turning my brown hair, gray.

It all started on Sunday late afternoon. Jaws wasn't even a thought in any of our minds. But then, somewhere in between me chasing Isabella around the Nature Museum and Jake waiting near the exit, his eyes connected with a Venus Fly Trap on sale, which he named Jaws. As soon as he showed me the plant, I knew there was no way we were exiting the building without it. He had been asking for a Venus Fly Trap for over three years. How on Earth could I say no?

So we took Jaws home with an understanding that the plant was 100% Jake's responsibility. I was so nervous taking this darn plant home, because I truly am not blessed with a green thumb. Over the past four years, I've tried growing tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, blueberries and even simply a flower and everything has died or been eaten up on me by some wild bird or gross slimy wormy creature. But Jake, on the other hand, has the greenest thumb you have ever seen. And he's interested in planting. So this was the perfect opportunity for him to bring something into our home that I am not good.

The first night went kind of well. Jake asked me a few questions, like what should I feed Jaws. I replied, "An ant." So Jake captured lots of ants and fed three of the traps. Then he put it in his bedroom for the night. I told him that I thought the plant would be better off outside where it can get natural sunlight. Jake disagreed and said the plant needs to be with him, because he can give it lots of love. It was so darn sweet! And he truly has always been more knowledgeable in this area, so I let it be.

Yesterday was when my time and energy began being devoured by Jaws. As soon as Jake woke up, I was bombarded by question after question. (I have to reiterate that I know nothing about plants or gardening or anything green that requires watering. I'm not even good with taking care of a bouquet of flowers. And here I was faced with having to help my son in a subject area that I kept failing at.) Jake asked, "Mom, can you help me catch more bugs for Jaws?" "Mom, can you look online to see what Jaws should eat?" "Mom, can you watch Jaws for me?" "Mom, do you think Jaws needs more water?" "Mom, should we replant Jaws?" and finally when he went to bed, he asked me, "Mom, is Jaws dieing?"

I looked at Jaws and realized it didn't look healthy. It's leaves and traps were wilting; and a couple had already began turning yellow. My heart filled with sadness and my eyes felt heavy. That's when it hit me. I am getting attached to the most ugly time devouring plant on this planet. I really am liking this plant, all because of my son. My son has made this plant so special and so pet-like. And when I looked at how wilted Jaws was, I almost cried. He looked like he was dieing. I let Jake sleep with him by his bedside one more night.

This morning, when Jake woke up, I put my foot down and said, "Jaws needs sun. He needs to live outside." Jake realized that he didn't know how to take care of Jaws; and with a sad expression on his face, he got dressed and brought Jaws downstairs. I then took Jaws from Jake and placed him in the sun on top of a table on our screened-in porch. I thought that was it, but then Jake begged me to go online and read up on how much sunlight Jaws needed and how much he should eat and what he should eat and if we should play music for it and if dogs eat Venus Fly Traps. I'm sure you are getting the picture.

The last thing I need right now is another to do or pet. Yet for some reason this plant is now in my life and I'm attached to it. So today, while Jake was at camp, I began learning all I could about Venus Fly Traps. Did you know that you only have to feed one trap a week and that's enough for the entire plant? Funny what a mom learns and does for the love of her child.

When Jake came home from camp, he immediately ran out to the screened-in porch, pulled up a chair and just sat there staring at his newest responsibility, Jaws. As you can see from the picture above, Jaws is already looking better.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How To Live A Balanced Life | Working Mother

How To Live A Balanced Life | Working Mother

ASTROLOGY NEWS: Mercury Retrograde Poses a Problem for July Holiday Vacation Travelers

Mercury retrograde is back and it's gaining energy to disrupt your 4th of July travel plans.

Mercury turns retrograde in the sign of Cancer on June 26, 2013 for three weeks. During this time period, expect delays and hiccups around your travel plans, especially if you are heading to the beach.

But that isn't the only area that Mercury will toy with. It also will play games with technology, making your computer unexpectedly crash or your cell phone to mysteriously disappear. Emails somehow get deleted. Contracts get delayed or may never even come through. Letters mailed end up at someone elses house. That phone call that you've been waiting for ends up recorded on someone elses voice mail. When Mercury goes retrograde, it's like having a toddler touching and messing with your computer, cell phone and mail.

With Mercury in the sign of Cancer, watch out that you don't drop your cell phone in the toilet or spill a cup of coffee all over your computer. And expect weather delays when traveling.

From personal experience, be aware and be prepared. Below are my suggestions to get through this time period:

  • Call the airport ahead of time to check on your flight
  • Make sure you have lots of fun games and snacks when traveling to help fill in the gaps of delays and disruptions
  • Watch talking on your phone close to water
  • Keep all drinks and liquids away from your computer
  • Follow-up on any emails or calls you expected to receive, because they may have gotten lost or forgotten
  • Drive carefully on the road, stopping at all red lights
Also, Uranus and Mars will be in close aspect around June 17th - 25th, giving you the impression that Mercury retrograde has started early. This is only the beginning of what these planets will do over the next four weeks.

So in the end, have fun and laugh at the craziness that Mercury most likely will bring into your life during this time period. And get ready, because Mercury isn't the only planet that will impact you in July. Saturn finally turns direct on July 7th and Uranus goes retrograde on July 17th. The power of these two planets will create a big bang effect, especially in some people's career and status. I'll be sharing more soon!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Have You Ever Had an OMG and WTBleepers Week? I Just Did!

This week has been such an insanely bizarre week for me. It all started on Sunday morning and hasn't stopped since.

Here's my OMG and WTBleepers of a week in a nut shell...

Sunday morning as I was checking emails, I noticed one from a woman who I didn't recognize her name. She was inquiring about my services. The email was one sentence and didn't tell me anything about who she was or how she found me. Not thinking anything of it, I responded back with information that I send to everyone (it contains a lot of legal jargon). In the legal jargon, it mentions that I can analyze her astrology chart if she chooses. She replied back that what I had sent her sounded like a scam, because I mentioned that I could interpret astrology charts. I didn't know how to respond. I've never hidden the fact that I'm into astrology. I've found it to be a great tool in helping determine best time periods to launch a new product, travel and more.

So here's the thing, I've sent the same information to clients for over fifteen years, and no one has ever mentioned being concerned that I do astrology. Her response was so mean, impersonable and secretive. And what really bothered me was that I let it bother me. I don't even know this woman and somehow I let her words make me feel worry and even concern for the safety of my family.

In today's world, there are so many people on the edge. It's so sad that we all have to be careful who contacts us through email. I love meeting new people and helping strangers, but not at the risk of feeling like my family's safety is in jeopardy.

Just be careful. There are people who aren't grounded and other's who are truly sending scams. I actually was being honest. I'm not sure who this woman was or what her intentions were. But I do know I'll never respond to her email again.

That same morning, I also received an email from my son's All Star baseball coach, mentioning that on June 13th he only had nine players and that he would be grateful if a family changed their plans. June 13th we had planned on celebrating my twins ninth birthday at Great Wolf Lodge. But we committed to being part of the team, so I rescheduled my twins two day mini birthday celebration at Great Wolf Lodge till July. I still made their day special! We celebrated their birthday at Sky High for a couple of hours and then came home for some double chocolate fudge birthday cake. It was delicious! The funny thing is in the end, Josh's All Star game was cancelled due to bad weather.

Monday morning at 6:10 am (my kids last day of school) I smelled something burning in the house. My heart was racing! It smelled like a wire was burning. I made my way quickly from the kitchen to where the smell got stronger in the front of our house. I scouted each room and noticed a faint fog of smoke in our paino room. Nervous that our house could be burning down, I shouted, "Something is burning, get out of the house," to my kids who were in their socks and pajama's, enjoying their eggs and bacon in celebration of their last day of school. They ran outside in the pouring rain. I dashed upstairs to get Isabella (my 20 month year old) who was sound asleep. Then I shot into my bedroom, pressed the fire alarm on our ADT security system sounding our alarm, ran down the stairs and started to unplug every plug I could find.

After going through the house unplugging every electrical wire plugged into an outlet, I ran outside to have my kids get a neighbor. They did exactly what I asked. My neighbor ran over with a fire extinguisher. But we couldn't find any sign of a fire. Then my phone rang. It was my husband. He said that ADT had called him and he cancelled my fire alarm request, thinking it was a false alarm because he had left the house not even ten minutes earlier to catch a flight. The lucky thing is he didn't cancel it fast enough so the fire department still arrived.

The firemen were so professional and courteous. They took control of the situation immediately. What put my mind at ease was that they smelled something too. The only thing was that none of us could find anything burning. My gut says that it was my thirty year old pencil sharpener, which I had unplugged as I ran through the house unplugging every electrical cord I could find. It was a scary morning, but one where my kids thought it was such a great way to end the school year! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that their new school year in August doesn't start off the same.

Tuesday my online animation class was rescheduled again. And I got a virus on my computer.

Wednesday at 5:00 pm, I couldn't find my son's baseball bag anywhere. When I asked him where it was, he said, "Dad was supposed to take it out of his car last night." My heart sank. My husband was traveling out of state which meant my son's baseball bag and equipment was probably in my husbands car at the airport. I called my husband, who said in a somewhat worried tone that the bag had to be somewhere in the garage. After about five minutes of me looking around, I asked him if it could be in his car still. He paused and replied that it may be.

I had less than two hours to feed my kids, pack the car (with diabetes supplies, diapers, snacks and more), get to the airport and find my husbands car, and then get to the baseball field for my son's tournament game. And I did it! It was pretty stressful, but my kids and I loved our newest adventure.

Thursday I took my kids and two of their friends to Sky High to celebrate my twins ninth birthday. The kids were bouncing off the walls they were so excited, until we found out that two of them couldn't jump. My stomach turned as I realized I didn't have waivers for two of my children's friends. I immediately contacted their parents. Luckily I was able to reach their parents and they were able to print Sky High's waiver form, fill it out and then fax it back. The bummer part was that the kids had to wait almost 40 minutes for everything to be processed.

It ended up being a great day where the kids spent two hours of jumping, while I spent two hours running around after my 20 month year old! (my kids are in the Orange/black shorts, purple shirt, and blue shirt below).

I received an email from my son's coach saying my son's All Star team is out of the tournament because of a run rule. I guess if you lose by a certain amount of runs, you are eliminated from the tournament. We had lost Wednesday nights game by ten runs, mostly by errors. Such a bummer.

Plans change. Things happen. And this week has definitely been a fun, eventful week. But I'm ready to slow things down just a little bit. I hope next week starts off more relaxed. But I doubt my wishes will come true, because Mercury turns retrograde on June 25th. When Mercury goes retrograde, it causes delays in travel, emails to be lost, phone calls to be missed and other events involving communication.

What I've learned is events like the above create great memorable stories and sometimes even books!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FREE Online Arts, Crafts and Cooking Classes

I can't believe I have never heard of Craftsy, until a couple of days a go. I went to their website to check it out and couldn't believe all the artsy-craftsy type classes they have available. And they even had some for FREE! My twin daughter and I sat at the computer clicking away, trying to figure out which class we wanted to take first.

I think many of you know that my twin daughter has type 1 diabetes and isn't able to participate in all of the camps my boys can. The main reason is because she still isn't confident with the whole carb counting and figuring how much insulin she needs or doesn't need. I want to make her summer just as fun as her brothers. When I showed her a scrapbooking class that we could take together, her face lit up and she said, "Mom, I've always wanted to learn how to create a scrapbook! Maybe I can create one of my summer." I replied, "Definitely!"

Here are a few of their mini-classes, which they offer for FREE! You really can't beat that. I'm hoping to take the pizza and scrapbooking classes in the next couple of weeks. Once I've taken them, I'll share how they were. And please, if you take one before me, I'd love to hear how you enjoyed it.
  •  Know Your Wool: Do you wonder where your yarn comes from? Learn about different types of wool and the individual characteristics of each.
  • The Hand-Painted Cake: Elevate your cake with Erin Schaefgen's freehand painting techniques. Create beautiful and edible works of art with Erin's tips and tricks.
  • Creative Quilt Backs: Make the back of your quilt just as interesting as the front! Oh, Fransson! blog author Elizabeth Hartman walks you through everything you need to know to make beautiful quilt backs.
  • Modern Buttercream: Learn to use buttercream like a pro! Discover the tricks and tips to construct and create a beautifully finished buttercream cake.
  • Micro Torch Basics: Go ahead, play with fire. Using a butane micro-torch, learn the basics of creating beautiful and unique metal jewelry in your own house.
  • Perfect Pizza-Learn how to make pizza in this fresh, flavorful, FREE mini-class with baking guru Peter Reinhart!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Betsy's Day at the Game Children's Book Review

Book reviews are so important before a book is released. And Greg Bancroft, an author, a father and a grandfather, asked me if I would review Betsy's Day at the Game. I was honored and excited, especially because I love baseball!

Before I start the review, I'd like to share how important it is for an author to have readers comment on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other ebookstores. It helps the author build their reputation, increase their sales and gain creditability. What a reader has to be aware of is that their review can truly impact an author's success. Honesty is key. But also making sure that your review is about the author's writing and not the publisher's formatting or your ereaders technical limitations. Technology still has a lot of limitations, and to place blame on the author whose primary skill is writing, when it is a technical issue with the readers ereader is truly insensitive.

So, when you write a review for an author on an ebookstore, please write the review about the story. And think about how your words will affect an artists career and how you would feel if someone wrote those words about something you poured a lot of heart and soul into.

Now to sharing my review of Betsy's Day at the Game!

Back Cover
"..a sweet story about family tradition and the art of keeping score."
-Kurtis Scaletta, author of Mudville and The Topps League series

"...celebrates the ways baseball is passed down through generations."
- John Coy, author of Top of the Order and the 4 for 4 series

Betsy loves hanging out with her grandfather, especially at the baseball park. Today is another game day, and Betsy is ready to show her grandpa all she's learned about keeping score. Betsy keeps track of it all - foul balls, home runs, and favorite players - but more exciting things are about to happen than just what's on her scoresheet.

First Three Paragraphs
"Elisabeth, Grandpa's here," Betsy's mom called out. A car pulled in to the driveway. Betsy came running with her Boo Bag.

"Grandpa!" Bests shrieked as she jumped into his arms. her grandfather swung her around and gave her a kiss.

"Are you ready for some baseball, Betsy Boo?" he asked her, using her nickname.

A grandfather takes his granddaughter to a professional baseball game, sharing the joys and excitements in every inning by keeping track of every strike, ball, hit and run. But what makes her experience even more special is the time she shares with her grandfather, learning all about his favorite team and players.

"This heartwarming story about a family tradition and America's favorite pastime includes a full scorecard. With great illustrations, Betsy's Day at the Game teaches kids how to fill out a scorecard, and encourages them to share their memories with their families."
What a wonderfully written story that every grandparent should share with their grandchild. It took me back to the days when my grandfather sat in the stands watching me play fast pitch softball. He was my biggest fan. And in this story, Betsy and her grandfather are sharing something special and learning in the process.

I had my three elementary aged children also read this book; and at the very end, all three were wiping tears from their eyes from the joy of sharing Betsy's Day at the Game. They also were eager to rip out the pages and start keeping track of their softball and baseball games, which made me realize that this book truly is a starter book and what would compliment it is by giving your child their own scorebook.

What I enjoyed
  • The illustrations were soft and friendly. They truly complimented this heartwarming story.
  • The authors ability to provide such great detail and warmth, making you feel like this family was your own.
  • The detailed examples on teaching a child how to keep score provided a great intro for any child who was looking to learn how to keep score at any baseball game.
  • The ending truly touched my heart, making me want to share in every special occasion with my own children just like Betsy did with her grandfather.
 What you need to be prepared for
  • The story teaches your child how to keep score throughout the story. There were times where my kids found it a little too detailed and wanted to skip to find out what happened at the end of the game. But that's a kid. I explained to them that this book was to share a story and to also teach them how to keep score. They wished they had a scorebook in front of them so they could follow as they read. I photocopied the pages, so they could. And smiles formed on their faces.
  • My children also kept asking me what the teams name was. It was a little harder for them to bond with the team, because the author didn't create a fictitious team name. So created one ourselves. And again, they loved that they were able to share in the authors creation of the story.

Overall, this book is a great gift for any child who plays baseball or softball, or is heading to a professional baseball game.

I'm giving the book a 4.5 star rating based on my opinion above.

This book is available on Amazon and other ebookstores. And I hope you will also read an interview I found about the author. Very well written and such a genuine person.

Author Interview: Greg Bancroft (August 31, 2012)

Friday, June 07, 2013

9 Year Old Birthday Gifts for My Boy and Girl Twins

Follow my blog with BloglovinNext week, Josh and Madison (my twins) are turning nine years old. I thought I'd share our plans and the gifts they will open on their big day, June 13th!

First, we're going to Great Wolf Lodge (an indoor water park with MagiQuest) to celebrate! I got this unbelievable deal for a one night stay in the Kid Cabin Suite. I had signed up for their email specials and last month they sent me an email mentioning a 24 hour promotion (maybe it was a 48 hour promotion). All I know is I jumped on it immediately! I can't wait to see the faces on the birthday boy and girl, when they enter the room and find a built in log cabin with bunk beds, a cozy cot and their own television. My 20 month year old is going to be bumming that she still has to sleep in a pak n play. Shsh...It's a secret!

As for gifts. This year I had an easier time buying Madison gifts than Josh. Below are a few of the gifts that hopefully will keep them busy and not bored this summer.

This is one of my favorite offers going on with LEGO right now. I'm a huge superhero fan and love LEGO's. In fact, I mentioned to my kids that I'd like to have one of the Monster LEGO building sets for my birthday coming up this summer.  You have to check out this deal and other's that LEGO is offering!

FREE, exclusive LEGO Jor-EL with purchases of $75 or more. Valid 6.1.03 - 6.25.13 or while supplies last
FREE, exclusive LEGO Jor-EL with purchases of $75 or more. Valid 6.1.03 - 6.25.13 or while supplies last

I absolutely love socks and has so many crazy, fun stylish socks to choose from!

Get 10% off all orders from using code KIDS10!

Camcorder for Madison and camera for Josh (a gift from their grandparents)
Okay, I helped my mom research both of the below products and found they were the best deal for the best rating for the best price; and they look to be the most durable for kids. We hope!

Kodak Zx1 HD Pocket Video Camera:
Record High Definition video (720p at 60 fps with 16:9 aspect ratio)

Canon - PowerShot A4000 IS 16.0-Megapixel Digital Camera - Blue

Other fun gifts to keep them busy this summer!

Pokémon White Version 2 Nintendo ds game

Tapeffiti  This stuff is cooler than cool. You can use it to make headbands, bracelets, scrapbooking, protect binders and more!

UGH! My Child Wants To Play The Piano But Not Practice?

Last night was the night that I called it quits. I was exhausted from begging. I was tired of yelling. I was broken-hearted seeing him do other things for hours, except the one thing that he naturally is good at, which is playing the piano.

Out of all my children, my twin soon to be nine year old son Josh, has a natural music ability. He can hear a song and figure out how to play it on the piano. And as soon as he turned six years old, I signed him up for lessons. He practiced and practiced and practiced. His eyes twinkled with each note he pressed. He was in his element. But as time went on, Josh has lost interest in practicing.

Two months ago, I had reached my limit. I was begging and pleading and even yelling at him to practice. I couldn't take another day watching my naturally talented son do everything else, but practice his piano lesson. So I gave him a choice. I told him that if I had to continue yelling and reminding him to practice his lessons every day that I was going to cancel them. Last night was the night.

I spent three hours reminding him to practice and he again, did everything but. And I had reached that mommy point where something needed to change. So when he laid his head down to go to sleep, I shared that I was going to stop his lessons and if he wanted to start them back up, he needed to wait till January, 2014. I also stated that the only way I would start them back up is if he showed interest in practicing over that six month time span and then signed an agreement. Tears fell from his eyes and of course, they broke my heart. But I stayed strong.

About ten minutes later, his older brother came down to talk to me. And again, I stayed firm and strong. My son needs to learn that I'm not going to just throw money and my personal time out the door because he wants to take piano lessons, but isn't willing to practice to get better.

Truthfully, I'm not sure what the right thing to do is. All I know is I'm tired of yelling and begging. And for him to practice right now, I will have to continue doing that. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maturity will set in and he'll realize that he really does want to play. The one card I have up on him is his twin sister is going to continue taking lessons. Hopefully that will motivate him. Especially because she will be further along than him.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I Gave My Daughter Too Much Insulin

Madison, my type 1 diabetic daughter who has lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 19 months now, woke up this morning so tired. We both thought it was because she stayed up so late last night. We had a mommy and daughter fast pitch softball game and then went out for a TCBY ice cream to celebrate. We had a blast! But when she checked her blood sugar this morning, both of our faces turned pale. It was 388. I felt like I failed her. She needs me to help her control and manage her blood sugar so she stays healthy. And last night, it was almost impossible for me to do it.

Our night started off normal. Before our game, Madison checked her blood sugar. It was perfect-156. Knowing her blood sugar was going to drop after playing, I lowered her basal. (just in case you don't know what basal is, it's the insulin she gets from her insulin pump to keep her blood sugar under control at all times)

Madison receiving tropy from her coach
After the game, the girls wanted to go to TCBY. It was 7:45 pm. I never feed Madison carbs after 5:30 pm during a school night, unless she needs it to bring up a low blood sugar. It's just too hard for me to manage her blood sugar if she has insulin still in her body when she goes to bed. But it was such a special night and I could see it in her eyes how much she wanted to go with her team, so I said, "Let's go get you an ice cream!" She gave me the most warm-loving hug, which brought the biggest smile to my face.

We got home around 9:00 pm and checked her blood sugar. It was 160. I was so proud of myself that I was able to keep her blood sugar at such a great number. But then I remembered, she had just eaten an ice cream, which meant she still had insulin in her body. We checked her meter to see how much insulin was still on board. It read 2.98. I was speechless. I wanted to cry, because I had given her way too much insulin for the amount of ice cream she ate and now I had to feed her disease to make sure she didn't crash. Madison gets 1.0 unit of insulin for every 15 carbs. So basically, with 2.98 units of insulin still in her body, she needed to eat about 45 carbs to ensure her blood sugar didn't go too low while she slept. Taking precautionary measures, I gave her a juice and five crackers, and also lowered her basal to where she was almost getting no insulin from her insulin pump for an hour and a half. Then I sent her to bed.

At 10:00 pm, I checked her blood sugar and it read 89. Too low to let her continue sleeping, so I woke her up and gave her a couple sugar tablets and a few more peanut butter crackers. I then checked her an hour later and her blood sugar was 130. Perfect! And now I could go to sleep. Around 3:45 am, Madison woke up to use the bathroom. She does that often, even if her blood sugar isn't high, so I didn't think much of it.

My alarm went off at 5:45 am. I tried waking Madison up, but she was giving me a hard time. I nudged her a few times and slowly she opened her eyes. I could tell she was exhausted. Never did I think her blood sugar was off the charts high. I just assumed she was tired from staying up so late and having me wake her up. She got ready and we headed down the stairs.

As soon as we got into the kitchen, she sat at her normal spot at the kitchen table and checked her blood. She turned slowly, looked at me with this pale expression and said, "My blood sugar is 388." I had her check it one more time and it read the same. All those awful feelings shot through my body and mind. I wanted to swear. I wanted it hit something. I wanted to cry. But instead, I said half-smiling, "That's okay, I'll just make you a non-carb breakfast. How does bacon and eggs sound." She smiled and said, "Great!"

I HATE THIS STUPID DISEASE! All I want to do is keep her healthy and the poor kid can't even have an ice cream and run around after 7:00 pm at night without a crazy night of blood sugar highs and lows. Too many highs is so unhealthy for her. And too many lows is again, unhealthy for her. This disease really never gives you a break. But I'm a fighter. And this disease is not going to win the war!