I can’t even imagine…

I just wanted to take a minute of your time… I know I come on here and complain about my kids and my husband. A lot. I know… I’m usually awake in the wee hours of the morning (as I am now) thinking and being annoyed and worrying and thinking some more…

It is also very typical that when I am up at the wee hours of the morning that I go on Facebook and see who else is up, maybe play some Frontierville or Zombie Lane, maybe catch up on some blogs that I haven’t read in a while.

I was doing just that when I came across a post from a blogger expressing her condolences for another blogger whose husband suddenly passed away.

Jennie Perillo is a talented chef,  food blogger and friend to a lot of other bloggers I wish I knew.   I have just learned that her husband died suddenly yesterday from heart attack.  He leaves behind not only Jennie, but their two young daughters as well.

I can’t even imagine what they must be going through right now.  Words cannot express the pain I feel for them.

I think today I am just going to take some time and give thanks for the life I have.  The life my husband and I have built together, the children we’ve brought into this world with love and the things that make our lives worth living.

I know I complain about my family…  a lot.

But I am thankful for them.

I love my Little Miss and Big Boy, and especially the Hubs.  And I hope to God that they know how much.

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5 things I’m not. (But I wish I could be…) Day 2 #SITS31DBBB

In case you are not aware, I am participating in the SITSgirls 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge.  I want to write more on this blog and give you, Dear Reader, more content to enjoy.  Participants in the challenge are given a daily assignment to work on and if they’ve signed up for a group they will work with their group for feedback and support.

How to Blog

Day 1’s assignment was to write an elevator speech- in 140 characters.

Day 2:  Write a list post.  I’ve done this one a couple of times before so it wasn’t easy finding a topic.  I hope I’ve done it justice.

5 Things I’m not.  (But I wish I could be…)

5. Confrontational. I’m opinionated. Yes, that much is true. I have lots and LOTS of opinions, BUT… Most times I will keep them to myself, or voice them to you dear reader, instead of to whom they should be voiced.

4. Neat. If you’ve read my bio on my About Me page, you would know that I clearly state that I am lazy. I am, it’s true. I’d rather sit here and read blogs or waste time in Facebook than do a load of laundry or vaccuum my house. I hate folding little things (like kid clothes) because it’s so time consuming and monotonous. I mean, how many socks can this kid possibly HAVE??

3. Thin. When I was 15, I was thin. I didn’t think I was, but I was. I wore a size 8 and went to dance class nearly every night. I ate what I wanted, I drank what I wanted, and I burned it all off at the end of the evening. I am currently working toward that weight and lifestyle again, although I know with age, it’s going to be a long hard battle, but I’m willing to go the extra mile (pun ABSOLUTELY intended) to get there.

2. Attentive. I think I might have something akin to Adult ADD… (Look! A Birdie!) I can never stay with one thing for long. I start projects and never finish them. I start books and never finish them. I don’t know why. I think it has to do with that “L” word. (lazy, silly! Not THAT “L” word)  So please forgive me if I start to follow you and then suddenly stop.  The only constant in my life right now is my family.

1. Insightful. I have a friend who reads my blog (you know who you are) and she always leaves a comment on my posts that make me stop and think. I wish I could always see the big picture like she does.  Instead I’m in my own little world unable to see but the world directly in front of me.

So what do you think?  Are there some things you wish you could be, but just aren’t??  I’d love to hear about it!

This is an original ROSCMM post. This post was written for the SITS Girls 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. 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.

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My son’s Cub Scout Pack is selling flow

My son’s Cub Scout Pack is selling flowers. Please help our pack GROW!! http://ow.ly/4uEsO

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To Technorati or not to Technorati…


I am so very excited to announce that the SV Moms Group has been acquired by Technorati and I have been invited to become a writer for them. The above code is to verify this blog so that I can be ranked within Technorati standards. I’m very much looking forward to writing for Technorati. Thanks to you all dear readers for hanging in with me and my whining. Hopefully now I will start producing some pieces with a little more substance. 🙂 Also, thanks to Jill and Technorati for this most wonderful opportunity! YIPEE!!

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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 FromLeftToWrite.com 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 Mamasick.com 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

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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

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Classy Chocolate Pound Cake Mix (via Tastefully Simple’s Birthday Blog)

Hey! Did you all know that I sell this stuff?? OMG It’s freaking awesome and the Classy Chocolate Pound Cake is MY FAVORITE!! It’s so chocolaty and light and yummy and you can WIN a WHOLE FREAKING CASE!! Go there. Now. Enter. Because I told you to!!

Tell us your favorite ways to enjoy Classy Chocolate Pound Cake Mix. We’d love to hear about your best tips, recipes and fun stories! … Read More

via Tastefully Simple's Birthday Blog

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To work or not to work, that is the question??

I’ve been a stay at home mom for seven years.  (Unless you count the three years I spent running my husband’s pet store with my toddler son at my side. AND the four years I’ve been selling Tastefully Simple.)  I’ve often wondered how things would be different if I’d had a career, something that would put that Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing to work instead of just being a pretty piece of paper on my wall.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love being home with my kids.  I love that we are fortunate enough that I don’t HAVE to get a job.  I love that I get to be there for every moment, every milestone, but most of my friends work outside the home and I often look at them with longing…

I wonder if I’m missing something.  The camaraderie, the atmosphere, the ADULT conversations.  There’d be no Dora, Diego, Backyardigans, or Yo Gabba Gabba (or less of them at least).  There’d be no potty training, baby talk, class trips, or daytime lunches with my best friend(or less of them too).

I wouldn’t be expected to come to EVERY presentation and parade at school. ( I DO go to EVERY presentation and parade at school because that’s how I roll.)  I wouldn’t feel bad because I’m a member of the PTA but don’t do anything with/for them.  (I do feel bad…  I’m not going to do anything about it, but I feel bad.)  I wouldn’t feel guilty about not going on EVERY field trip on those stupid ginormous  yellow school buses that have awful shocks. ( I made the mistake once to ride in the very back with my son and his classmates while I was about 7 months pregnant with my daughter.  Let’s just say that I’m lucky I didn’t give birth right there in the back of the bus.)

BUT I would have to have my kids in some sort of child care.  Someone else would be there for my kids during the day for little milestones like when my daughter goes potty all by herself, or my son gets 100% on his grammar test.    Someone else would sit with my son as he does his reading homework, someone else would have to sing my daughter to sleep during nap time.

HOWEVER, millions of women kiss their families goodbye and go to work every day (including some of my closest friends).

They do it because they have to.

They do it because they want to.

And they’re still there for most of it.

They’re still there for little things like parades and presentations.  They still come home and cook dinner for their family.  They still manage impeccable households, complete with laundry, pets, and soccer games.  They still get the things done around the house that take me all week to get done.  And they still get up every morning and do it all over again.  Some of them even consider going to work their break from the insanity that is their home life!

Back when my husband’s business was coming to a close, we had “the talk”.  The store was closing, should I get a job and look for child care for our then four year old son?  We both agreed that my job would only be paying for the child care we found for him.  We decided I would stay home until he went to school.

Enter baby #2. 

So I’m home for another three years.  Hopefully by the time my daughter goes to school, I’ll have this blogging thing down and I won’t HAVE to get a job outside of my home.  Either that or we’ll win the lotto and then we can BOTH stay home.

I’d better dust off my resume!!  🙂

This post was written as part of the Silicon Valley Moms Group Book Club.  It was inspired by the book Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half Insane Working Mom by Kristin Van Ogtrop which I received free from the publisher for the purpose of this book club discussion.

Categories: Book Club, SV Mom's Group, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Kid randomness…

“No Kayla you can’t have the nunchuck,” my seven year old scolds his two year old sister.

Me:”Just let her have the nunchuck for Pete’s sake!”
Him: “Ok, Kayla, but if you break it, it’s going to be $30 out of your allowance.”

I wonder when he’s going to get it… HE doesn’t even get an allowance, what makes him think his sister would… And it’s not cause I don’t want to give him an allowance. It’s that HE DOESN’T DO ANYTHING TO EARN AN ALLOWANCE!

Anyway… It makes me chuckle to listen to my son talk to his sister. The age difference is very evident and he talks to her like she’s seven like him. (Of course it doesn’t help that I talk to HIM like he’s 31, like me.) It’s funny to listen to her tell me things about Jupiter (pronounced “JOO-PER -ERR”) and Spongebob (“Bunbob”).

He gives her homework when he comes home from school and she eagerly sits to do it.  They are very attached to each other although I think there’s still some jealousy over my attention.  He’s getting better though and she just doesn’t understand.

You know, as much as I complain that he never shuts up, I think it’s pretty great that my son’s interested in space.  Maybe he’ll be an astronaut when he grows up, or maybe a rocket scientist.  Or maybe an Astro-rocket scientist-naut.  I just hope he doesn’t talk so much.  He reminds me of that kid in the Toys R Us commercial who constantly talks about Dora.

Photo courtesy of Chris LoBello photography.  He’s my cousin.  You should TOTALLY check him out!!

Categories: I swear they are trying to kill me..., my kids are FREAKING HILARIOUS, Randomness..., Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’m so freaking excited!!

So I’m FINALLY going to (sorta) start using the degree that took me four years to earn!! Thanks to my new friend Amy Oztan (@Selfishmom) I’m now a contributing writer for the NYC Mom’s Blog!! WOO HOO!! I wonder how that’s going to work tho, cause I don’t live in the city. I don’t go to the city EVER (well, I might now that I have this writing gig). I think I might be the only Long Island mom on this blog, but you know what? That’s probably a good thing…

So now as I await my TypePad invite, I’m going to read up on the content www.NYCmomsblog.com and see where I fit in. 🙂

Hopefully I don’t kill my kids during this lovely snow day!

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