Monthly Archives: September 2010

Room by Emma Donoghue

Ok, so I’ll be honest here…  As I was reading ROOM and the horrors that Jack and Ma have to endure I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what I would write about here.  We’re not supposed to do a straight book review at the From Left To Write book club but rather a post inspired by the book.  I’m not sure what’s inspiring to me about a story told by a five year old boy and his Ma about living in an 11’X11′ garden shed, prisoners of Old Nick, who kidnapped Ma when she was nineteen and held her for seven years before Jack and Ma attempt a daring and frightening escape.  I’m not saying the book is bad.  Quite the opposite actually.  The book is BRILLIANT and HORRIFYING and CREEPY and you should totally go get it and read it for yourself.

However, I’ve never been in a situation like Jack and Ma were in.  I’ve never been held against my will in an 11X11 shed and raped almost nightly for seven years.  I’ve never had to escape anything before (unless you count Jury Duty and the time my mom and I went to go see a photographer out in Hauppague for my wedding and almost didn’t make it home, but that’s another story).

So I missed the call for posts, NOT INTENTIONALLY but I’m kinda glad I did.  I was still unsure about what to write about when I finished the book yesterday.  So I went to and read everyone else’s posts hoping to get some ideas…  And oh boy did I!   I especially liked the one about the beeps.  And the one about glass houses.  Go read them. You will not be disappointed.

Anyway, after Ma and Jack have escaped the confines of Room and Old Nick, they are plunged into a world that Jack has never been exposed to.  Ma is judged for every choice she’s made regarding her confinement and the birth and rearing of Jack.  I certainly believe that she did the best she could with him considering the circumstances.  (you try being held prisoner and then find out your pregnant by the bastard that kidnapped you and tell me how good you do.)

I’m always afraid of being judged.  I’m always worried some well meaning stranger will look upon my child’s behavior in a store as if he is being abused and call CPS to take my children away.  I think it’s a self-esteem issue with me.  I’m worried that I’m not good enough, or not doing it right.  I try to emulate the people I consider to be “good parents” only to find out that my kids need something different and we can’t make it work at that time.  My friend Emily over at tells of a incident that happened to her when a well-meaning daycare worker called CPS about a program that offers help to parents in need and the case worker took it as a complaint and took her son away from her.

I was talking to another friend on the phone the other day and they were complaining about how their son was having issues getting on the bus for school.  I offered that they need to be a little tougher on his as he needs to figure this one out himself.  “Don’t do everything for him, or he’ll wind up like my son, completely helpless.” I was making a joke.  The response on the other end of the line was “Well, look where it’s coming from.”  So it’s my fault my son is completely helpless, is it?  It’s because I didn’t raise him to be independent and self-sufficient.  Thank you sir, may I have another?

How about worrying every time my son goes to school that he’s going to tell his teacher about something stupid I said or did that’s going to cause the teacher to call me in (happened last year) or contact the school psychologist (hasn’t happened yet, hopefully never will).

I know I’m not the best mommy in the whole wide world.  I know there’s lots of room for improvement in the parenting department, but I’m raising two healthy, happy kids in a loving, safe environment, and I’m doing the best I can.  Doesn’t that account for something?

Ain't they cute?

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was inspired by ROOM by Emma Donoghue, a copy of which I received free from the publisher for the purposes of this book club, and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2010 MastermindMommy

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

10 reasons why I LOVE my job!!- This is from a writing prompt- I SWEAR!!

1. I get to work my own hours. When you own your own Tastefully Simple business, you choose the days and hours you want to work. For instance, I do not work Friday or Sunday nights. Friday night is “Family Night” and Sunday night, Hubs has pool and I need to get Big Boy and Little Miss ready for the upcoming week.  So I offer parties Monday-Thursday nights, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Saturday nights.

2. I believe in my product. Tastefully Simple’s products are either open or enjoy or you add no more than two

ingredients. They are delicious and easy to prepare and they are shipped directly to your door, you don’t even have to leave the house.

3. The money‘s not bad either… I get a 30% discount on all the products, so if you buy from me, I charge you regular retail, and keep the 30%. And I can give myself a raise anytime I want, I just have to book another party or take another order.

4. The people are AWESOME!- If you ask my sponsor, she will tell you that it took me FOREVER to decide to join her team. I had fifty thousand questions and was going back and forth with her over email. I was even afraid to give her my phone number because I wanted the distance of email so she couldn’t talk me into anything or put me in an awkward situation where I had to say “No.”. (Yep, I’m a freak…) But ultimately I’m glad I decided to join up. My sponsor is the sweetest, most caring person you ever want to meet. In the past four years that I’ve been selling, I’ve never met more caring supportive people. My whole team is like that. And the one person I still have under me? We’re more friends than anything else. Our kids play together and we have lots in common.We’re more peers than a leader-recruit relationship. I mean, I used to have more people under me where I made a commission on them (you need at lease three with TS to make a commission) but those people just couldn’t get their business off the ground. They didn’t have the time or the drive to work the business the way it needed to be worked. There are no hard feelings towards those who have joined and then left me, everyone has their own circumstances for not being able to continue and I understand that, so it’s all good.

5.It gets me away from my kids and husband. By day, I’m supermom. Protecting my children from mind numbing television programs one load of laundry at a time. By night, I become The Dip Lady who brings her magical dips to people’s homes where they can eat and enjoy and spend their money. I can be me and not have to yell at someone to get down off the couch or put their clothes back on. I don’t have to worry about if the kitchen is clean because it’s not my kitchen and most of my hostesses don’t mind if I make a bit of a mess. (of course if I do make too much of a mess, I won’t be asked back,so I do have to be a little careful…)

6.The other people are cool too. Tastefully Simple is based in Alexandria, MN, aka, the land of happy people… There has not been a time where I have had to call HQ in MN and NOT gotten a specialist who sounded like they should be working at Disney instead of Tastefully Simple. Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming, but others, it’s kind of nice, you know? Its a chance to leave all the negativity behind even if its only for a few minutes and breathe in the positive energy that seems to radiate out of these people. It’s refreshing, or nauseating, depending on how you look at it.

7. Did I mention the money?? When you become a leader with Tastefully Simple you can start to collect a commission on the consultants who have signed up under you. Now as I said before you need three to start collecting, AND… if you have a good month, and your consultants have a good month, you will not only make your 30% discount on the sales you make, but 5% off your consultants plus a BONUS!!

8. I can offer you my Personal Guarantee of Satisfaction on the products I sell and not have to worry about how that’s going to effect me.  If you purchase something, get it home, and decide that you don’t like it or there’s an issue with it, it’s no problem.  Call me up!  I will replace your product, refund your money, or get you a different product.  Whatever I need to do to make you happy.  Tastefully Simple believes in their products so much that if you have a problem with a product (highly unlikely) they will do what they need to to make it right.  (and it’s at no cost to me which is pretty awesome)

9. They tell me what to say and what to sample.  At the first Tastefully Simple party I’d ever gone to, I looked at the consultant (who later became my sponsor) and observed her reading from cards.  Not little index cards that she tried to hide, but big fat 5×7 cards on a ring that she blatantly held out in front of her and read from.  I remember thinking “I can do that.  That looks so easy.  And if she can read off cards, so can I.  I wonder what I have to do to get cards like that…”  Turns out, they give em to you!  (well, you have to buy them twice a year, but they’re $5 and it’s really  no big deal when you think about all the information in these cards…)  And as far as sampling goes, they have sampling rotations that you can buy.  They’re predetermined sets of sample cups and pouches that you can buy and there’s no brainwork involved.  You purchase the sampling rotation and you six sets of samples.  One set is usually enough for one party but bigger parties need more samples, of course, so depending on the size of your parties, you get enough for six parties.

10. Six parties in one month?  Let’s do the math…  An average party is $500.  Your commission is 30% of that= $150.  $150 x 6 parties in a month= $900!!  What would you do with an extra $900 in a month??  If you do just one party a week that’s $600 in a month!  That’s a FREAKING car payment!!

And THAT’S why I LOVE my job!!

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted. This post has no compensation level as I did not receive anything for writing this post,(visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Sesame Street Live! Elmo’s Healthy Heroes.

So my friend Emily over at sends me an email one day.  Would I be interested in helping her out on a review opportunity?  She was asked to attend a performance and do a review of Curious George Live and Sesame Street Live while the shows are in the NY/NJ area.  There’s only one problem, she couldn’t attend the Sesame Street Live show as it was here on Long Island and her health prevented her from traveling out this way from New Jersey.  Would I be interested in attending the Sesame Street Live performance at the Nassau Colosseum running a contest on my blog and writing a review of the show?  In return I would get free passes to the show.

So what do you think I said?  HELL YES!!  Do you actually think I would pass up FREE passes to a show that my whole family would enjoy??

Upon first mention to the Big Boy his reaction was “Oh no!  I’m not going to THAT!  I don’t like Sesame Street anymore.”

Of course my response was,”Too bad, you’re going whether you like it or not.”  THAT changed his tune. (well, no, not really, but he stopped complaining about it for a while)

Now, I made the mistake of telling Little Miss about the show on the morning I went to the theater to exchange the vouchers Vee Corporation sent me for tickets for the following week.  So for the rest of the week, she’s asking me “Is Elmo here yet?”  I finally resorted to telling her that it’s a long walk from Sesame Street and he would be here next week.  She didn’t believe me.  All day she sat at the window watching for Elmo.  It was quite cute, until it got annoying.

Anyway, one agonizing week later, I’m getting Big Boy ready for school.  Little Miss is so excited because we’re going to FINALLY see Elmo and Big Boy decides that he’s not going to the show. (again)  I tried explaining to him that even though he’s a big boy, it’s ok to do little kid things once in a while, like going to see Sesame Street Live with his family.  Reluctantly, he agreed.

The evening comes and we get to the show.  Big Boy is grumbling about having to leave his PSP in the car, Little Miss is looking for Elmo to jump out and say hi.  Hubs spends WAY too much money on souvenirs and food.  And suddenly, here come Bert and Ernie!

Little Miss’s eyes light up and Big Boy chomps on his popcorn.  Then comes Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, Zoe, and Cookie Monster, Count Von Count, Telly Monster, Prairie Dawn and Cookie Monster, that grouch girl whose name I can’t remember and finally…  the monster of the hour (the week even) ELMO!

The one the only ELMO!!

Little Miss was beside herself she was so happy to see Elmo! She wanted to run right down and give him a big ol’ hug.

Opening number concluded, the remainder of the first half of the show continues.  Apparently Super Grover has lost his super and while he’s out finding it, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Telly Monster and Zoe (and Rocko even though he’s just a rock) with the help of the show’s only human character, the letter “K”, have to take over for Super Grover while learning about how to get and stay healthy.

Zoe and Rocko, Elmo, the letter K, Abby, and Telly!

Intermission comes and Big Boy reports to me, “Mom, I am SO NOT regretting this!  This is AWESOME!”  A big “I told you so” grin crept over my face.  He was enjoying himself!

Hubs leaves and comes back a few minutes later with an Elmo doll for Little Miss and cotton candy for Big Boy (and me).  He’s a little cranky cause they wouldn’t let him out of the building to get our jackets from the car. (it was COLD in there!)

The show resumes and The Fabulous Five saves the day in places like Elmo’s World and Journey to Ernie.  Little Miss, who spent part of the show in my lap because she was afraid of the confetti cannons, is now standing next to me singing and dancing along to the show.

Finally Elmo and friends discover how to get Super Grover’s superness back is by eating healthy, using good hygiene, getting enough sleep, and exercising!  Soon Super Grover is flying all over Sesame Street- Up, Up and AWAY!! And my kids are clapping and cheering him on.  I found myself clapping and cheering too!!

What a great show!  I loved the fact that the show incorporates the ideas of eating right, using good hygiene, exercising and getting enough sleep.  I also loved that the show is geared toward kids and adults alike.

Many thanks to Vee Corporation and Emily at for the tickets and the opportunity.  We had a great time and you will too!

Here’s more info on the show!

Sesame Street Live

“Elmo’s Healthy Heroes”

Uniondale, NY; Nassau Coliseum

Thursday, September 16 – Sunday, September 19, 2010

East Rutherford, NJ; IZOD Center

Thursday, September 30 – Sunday, October 3, 2010

White Plains, NY; Westchester County Center

Thursday, October 21 – Sunday, October 24, 2010

When Super Grover loses his superness, Sesame Street needs a hero! Never fear, Elmo and his team of Healthy Heroes are here. Teaching lessons of healthy habits through song and dance, Elmo, Abby Cadabby and your favorite Sesame Street friends will explore exercise, nutrition, sleep/energy and hygiene – all in a quest to put the “super” back in Super Grover. It’s Elmo’s Healthy Heroes to the rescue!

  • Sesame Street Live is a larger-than-life, musical touring stage production featuring Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie…and more.  Each performance is 90 minutes of singing, dancing and audience participation, including a 15-minute intermission.  The perfect length for very young children!!
  • Uniondale, NY and East Rutherford, NJ tickets go on-sale Tuesday, July 20, 2010 and White Plains, NY tickets go on sale August 23, 2010 at the box office and all Ticketmaster locations.
  • To charge by phone, call 800-745-3000

**Enter the code ERNIE online at to receive $3 off each ticket! (excludes Gold Circle, VIP, Sunny Seats, and Opening Night performances)

Want to see more pics from our Sesame Street Live Experience??  Here ya go!

This is an original ROSCMM post. All opinions in this post come from Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted. This post has a compensation level of 10 (visit my Full Disclosure page for more details) and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2010 MastermindMommy

Categories: Reviews | 2 Comments

At a Loss for Words…

I don’t know what to write about.  When I signed up to read “Cowboy and Wills” by Monica Holloway I was planning on writing a heartfelt post about my son and his struggles.  In actuality, I don’t think he has many struggles.  I thought for a while that he had sensory issues.  Maybe he still does, but I’ve yet to have a teacher or doctor approach me about it.  He has trouble sitting still, he has trouble with food textures, he has trouble with change, and he has trouble being quiet.  What seven year old doesn’t??  Guess I’m not going there…

Then I thought about writing about the death of my beloved Coco.  She was the dog my family had when I was a kid.  But I thought I’d be one of a million bloggers relating the story of Cowboy and Wills to the death of their beloved childhood pet.

THEN I thought I’d write about my in-laws and their dog…  Too personal, not ready for that.

I dunno…

I guess I’ll join the ranks and share with you my childhood memories.

My son has been asking for a dog for about a year now.  Not pestering, not begging, just every so often he asks, “hey Mom, can we get a dog?”  My husband on the other hand, has his own ideas.  He thinks we’re getting a dog in the next couple of years.  And I don’t know, maybe we will, but at this time, there’s no room for a dog.

Now, don’t get me wrong…  I had a dog growing up.  I love dogs.  (dogs don’t love me a lot of the time, but that’s another story)  I wish I could get my kids a dog.  I can only imagine the dubious amounts of GOOD it would do for my kids if we could get a dog.  At this time, its just not in the cards.  Maybe someday.

Then sometimes, I wonder if maybe it’s not so good to get my kids a dog, even if we did have the room.  I know I shouldn’t shelter them, but what happens if  the dog should die?  Do I want to expose my children to that kind of loss?  My son has experienced the loss of his great grandmother already, but he was so little, he didn’t understand.  They will have to endure the death of other family members in the future as well, but if I can help them to avoid any unnecessary grief should I try?  I know people, my husband included, who had multiple dogs.  When one died, they got a new one.  Not me.  We had one, and that was it.


We got Coco when I was three.  Back in the day there was a show on Nickelodeon called Pinwheel.  On that show, there was a mime named Coco.  On the way home from the North Shore Animal League with our new puppy in hand I looked at my brother and parents and offered up the name.  My logic: Then there would be three Coco’s, our Coco, Coco on Pinwheel, and the cocoa you drink.  Pretty good logic for a three year old, ya’ think?  Me too.

Anyway, she was gorgeous.  A spaniel mix (aka mutt) with black, and brown fur, she had small white patch on her chest where she loved to be scratched.  She had a tail that could kill and when she was happy, LOOK OUT!  That tail could leave welts!  She had this great little dance she used to do in the morning when the first person (usually my mom) got up and when someone would come home after a long day away (again, usually my mom).  She’s wiggle her little butt and wag that tail letting off little yelps just to let us know she was happy to see us (either that or she had to go outside, I’m not really sure).

Growing up, my mom was lucky enough to be a stay at home mom.  Coco became HER dog soon after we got her.  Mom was home with her all day.  Mom house broke her, trained, fed and sometimes groomed her.  At dinner, we’d all be sitting at the table and Coco would walk up to my mom and place her head on her lap, waiting for a scrap or a scratch.  Coco would listen to MOM above all else.

For eleven years, she was with us.  Always there to greet us after school.  Always there to play with on snow days (she LOVED snow).  Always there to sit in front of the big fan in the summer and let her fur fly all over everything.  Always there to bark at the neighbors and let them know she was there keeping us safe.

The day of her death,  I remember getting up early (it was summer vacation) and sitting down next to her in the living room.  Coco had just had surgery on her knee after tearing a tendon while running to bark at my neighbor and was home, recuperating.   I didn’t want to touch her for fear of hurting her.  I noticed a fly land on her shaved leg and I moved to shoo the fly away.  As I did so, I brushed her leg with my finger.  She did not move.  I moved in closer and noticed a wet spot in the carpet.  I put my hand on her side, she wasn’t breathing.  I jumped up and dashed to my brother’s room.

“Something’s wrong with Coco!” I shouted.  He ran out of his room, took one look at her, brought me to my room.

“Coco’s dead.” I heard him say to my mom, who had been out food shopping, and was coming in through the garage.

“No, no, no…” I heard her cry.  Coco was gone.  Mom put a blanket over her and took my brother and I in her room until my father came home from work and brought her to the vet to be cremated.

It was my first major loss.  I’d dealt with the death of distant family members.  I’d been to wakes and funerals for those family members.  Sad to say, my first major loss was my dog and it was HARD.  I got mad at and didn’t speak to a friend of mine for months after a smart ass remark he made about her death.  It took a while to get over her death and when my brother tried to bring another dog into the house about a year later, we couldn’t do it.  We never had another dog after that.

Is this loss something I want my kids to endure?  Should I risk all the good having a pet will give my kids, so they don’t have to deal with the pet’s inevitable death?  We’ve already had fish and lizards that have come and gone, but nothing as solid, as able to return love as a dog.

I guess these are questions I will have to ask myself in the future as there is no room for another body (canine or otherwise) in this house right now.  I have a feeling that I will wind up getting that dog when the time comes.  And my kids will love it and deal with the inevitable when the inevitable happens.

This is an original ROSCMM post and was written for the From Left to Write Book Club. This post was inspired by Cowboy and Wills by Monica Holloway, a copy of which I received free from the publisher for the purposes of this book club, and no, you can not steal my content unless you specifically ask me for it first. It’s called copyright, yo.

Copyright 2010 MastermindMommy

Categories: From Left to Write Book Club | 8 Comments

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